Energy leads weaker TSX despite oil below $50
The energy sector led gains for the main TSX index Friday despite a 2 per cent drop for oil prices amid concerns that the OPEC-led production caps may not be renewed. US production is also a worry.
Gold prices strengthened though as politics took centre stage with French presidential elections this weekend which could end up with a far-right result.
Meanwhile, Valeant dragged the healthcare sector group lower as analysts expressed caution over the company’s debts. Five sectors closed the session lower and the index was flat overall.
Wall Street and Europe were lower while Asian markets were mostly higher.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index closed down 11.08 (0.07 per cent)
The Dow Jones closed down 30.95 (0.15 per cent)
Oil is trending lower (Brent $51.94, WTI $49.60 at 4.35pm)
Gold is trending higher (1286.70 at 4.35pm)
The loonie is valued at U$0.7406
Consumer prices ease on cheaper food
There was a slower pace of inflation in March with the Consumer Price Index up 1.6 per cent year-over-year following a 2.0 per cent rise in February.
Statistics Canada said Friday that food prices were down 1.9 per cent and clothing was 0.9 per cent lower but transportation costs jumped 4.6 per cent and shelter costs rose 2.2 per cent.
The slip was more than analysts had expected (1.8 per cent) and also means that inflation headed away from the target set by the Bank of Canada.
The easing of inflation should mean that the BoC will not feel the need to raise interest rates before the popular consensus of the second half of 2018.
We’ll view the challenges as opportunities says Home Capital chair
The chair of Home Capital Group hopes to reassure shareholders that the company is strong and heading in the right direction following the news this week of the OSC proceedings against it.
Home Capital says it will vigorously defend the allegations regarding disclosures and denies any wrongdoing.
In a statement Friday, Kevin Smith wrote:
“I recognize that we have had our share of challenges recently and the confidence of our stakeholders has been understandably shaken. I also know that the best way for us to move forward is to view these challenges as opportunities to improve the way we do business and to regain your confidence and our strong reputation. That’s what we will be doing in the coming weeks and months while focusing on executing our strategy and delivering on our goals.”
He added that the lender’s credit quality is strong but also said that he and the board believe that the company could and should be doing better.
Home Capital will report its quarterly results next month.