TSX ends flat ahead of Fed meeting, Greece talks
World markets were on the cautious side Tuesday as some investors decided on a sell-off ahead of Wednesday’s press conference from the Fed after its two-day meeting. Although there is little expectation of an interest rate rise this time many analysts are betting on September and there may be clues tomorrow. Greek debt is the other issue weighing heavily around the world although there is unlikely to be any movement until Thursday when Eurozone finance ministers meet. Wall Street closed in positive territory with the Dow managing triple digit gains. Asia had closed earlier in the day with losses after a sell-off in stocks; Europe managed to close broadly higher.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index closed down 3 points (0.02 per cent)
The NYSE closed higher (Dow up 113.3)
Oil is trending mixed (Brent down at $63.73, WTI up at $60.02 at 4.30pm)
Gold is trending lower
The loonie is valued at U$0.8121(at 4.30pm)
NDP plans to continue with Alberta tax hikes
The National Democratic Party says that it will push ahead with its plans to increase taxes for the province’s corporations and high earners. There will also be a ban on corporate and union donations to political parties. In setting out its legislative agenda for the coming year the NDP did not set a timeline for reviewing oil and gas revenues which leaves the energy industry with a large unanswered question.
Pension funds under pressure from interest rates, long lives
Many of Canada’s pension funds are under increasing pressure from predicted longer lifespans and low interest rates. A study of 25 of the largest pension funds by Russell Investments
shows that they need to add an extra $25 billion to reserves to meet pension payments. Two thirds of the additional funds are due to the low interest rates with increased life expectancy accounting for the rest.
25,000 to lose jobs in oil sector
The Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors says that 25,000 drilling jobs will go as a result of the decline in operating days for Canada’s oil industry. The figure is a 9 per cent rise on the group’s estimate in January and will see 50 per cent fewer people working in drilling and connected jobs than there were last year.
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