TSX lower, commodities mixed
The main index of the Toronto Stock Exchange closed marginally lower Monday with mixed fortunes for commodities.
Oil prices edged higher despite uncertainty over production levels as OPEC nations meet Thursday in Vienna. Gold meanwhile, declined with the stronger US dollar and expectation of a Fed interest rate rise.
Canada’s equities bucked the trend for major markets with most Asian and European indexes gaining, although trade was thinner than usual.
Wall Street and London were closed for public holidays.
The S&/TSX Composite Index closed down 18.56 (0.13 per cent)
The Dow Jones was closed for Memorial Day
Oil is trending higher (Brent $49.72, WTI $49.60 at 4.40pm)
Gold is trending lower (1207.40 at 4.40pm)
The loonie is valued at U$0.7665
Current account weaker on oil impact
Lower oil prices have added more than a billion dollars to the Canadian current account deficit. Statistics Canada reported Monday that the seasonally adjusted deficit grew to $16.8 billion in the first quarter of 2016.
The deficit on international trade in goods expanded $1.3 billion to $6.3 billion and overall total exports of goods decreased $1.5 billion to $130.4 billion in the first quarter. Energy exports were down $3.4 billion despite higher volumes.
The overall deficit on international trade in services narrowed $0.2 billion to $5.7 billion in the first quarter and The investment income deficit was unchanged at $3.4 billion in the first quarter, as both receipts and payments fell by the same amount.
Business competitiveness slides in global rankings
Canada has slipped to 10th
in a league table of most competitive nations according to the IMD World Competiveness Center. The Swiss organization ranked Canada 5th
in 2015, however other major nations have also fallen.
The US dropped from most competitive last year to 3rd
in 2016 with Hong Kong taking the top spot. Canada still rates higher than Australia, the UK, Germany but has been overtaken by Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands and Sweden.
Industrial prices lower, raw materials higher
StatsCan data released Monday shows the Industrial Product Price Index declined 0.5 per cent in April, led by lower prices for motorized and recreational vehicles, while higher prices for energy and petroleum products helped moderate the fall. Meanwhile, the Raw Materials Price Index increased 0.7 per cent, led by higher prices for crude energy products.
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