TSX, Wall Street fall sharply on Trump concerns
Political uncertainty dominated the markets Wednesday with Donald Trump’s links with Russia escalating as talk on Capitol Hill turned to possible impeachment.
The turmoil spread globally with markets almost universally lower. More positive events were a 1.8 per cent boost for gold and a rise for oil prices as data revealed lower US stockpiles.
The main TSX was down by triple figures with IT and healthcare leading big losses for 7 sectors including financials, and more moderate losses for the remaining 3.
Wall Street also closed lower with all three main indexes down sharply. European and Asian bourses were also flat or negative.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index closed down 269.7 (1.73 per cent)
The Dow Jones closed down 372.8 (1.78 per cent)
Oil is trending higher (Brent $52.15, WTI $49.01 at 4.30pm)
Gold is trending higher (1259.60 at 4.30pm)
The loonie is valued at U$0.7342
Manufacturing sales hit new record high
Manufacturing sales were up 1 per cent in March to set a new record high of $53.9 billion.
Statistics Canada reported Wednesday that transportation equipment and food were the drivers of the increase but sales in 16 or 21 sectors were higher, representing 71 per cent of Canadian manufacturing.
Motor vehicles and their parts saw a rise following two monthly declines.
In constant dollars, there was an overall increase in manufacturing sales of 0.2 per cent.
Economists think Canada-US trade will see more than minor tweaks
President Trump’s assurances that the agreement over US trade with Canada would only see minor tweaks is not believed by economists.
A poll by Reuters of a panel of economists shows that they believe there could be a major impact on Canada’s exports from a replaced or renegotiated NAFTA. In February, most said they were not concerned.
Since then President Trump’s stance has been more protectionist including a tariff on Canadian lumber exports.
The economists forecast that the Bank of Canada will remain cautious and is unlikely to increase interest rates until well into 2018.
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