Daily Wrap-Up: Oil slumps almost 2 per cent, TSX tumbles

Oil slumps almost 2 per cent, TSX tumbles... Retail trade jumps 2.2 per cent... Freshii wants to team up with Subway...

Daily Wrap-Up: Oil slumps almost 2 per cent, TSX tumbles
Steve Randall
Oil slumps almost 2 per cent, TSX tumbles
The markets are cautious over talk of extending the OPEC oil cuts, which have supported higher prices since January. That caution saw the price of US crude fall almost 2 per cent to its lowest since in nearly 4 months.

The energy group of the main TSX index tracked the decline of oil prices, leading 6 of the sector groups downwards including financials which fell 0.48 per cent. The overall index tumbled more than 129 points.

Wall Street plunged even further with the Dow off by almost 238 points while the Nasdaq plunged 1.8 per cent. European markets were also broadly lower while Asian indexes had closed mixed.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index closed down 129.2 (0.84 per cent)
The Dow Jones closed down 237.8 (1.14 per cent)
Oil is trending lower (Brent $50.89, WTI $47.50 at 5.05pm)
Gold is trending higher (1244.60 at 5.05pm)
The loonie is valued at U$0.7488

Retail trade jumps 2.2 per cent
There was a boost for Canadian retailers in January, with a 2.2 per cent jump in sales to $46 billion, driven by a rebound for 4 subsectors following a weak December.
Statistics Canada reported Tuesday that retail sales by volume were up 1.3 per cent when price changes are factored out.

Ten of the 11 subsectors gained, representing 98 per cent of retail trade.

Car dealers saw the largest gains in dollar terms, up 3.8 per cent. Used car dealers had the best month with a 4.3 per cent rise but new car dealers were not far behind with a 4.2 per cent increase in sales.

E-commerce grew by an estimated, unadjusted 17.2 per cent year-over-year and represented 2.7 per cent of all retail trade ($1.0 billion.)

Freshii wants to team up with Subway
Canadian restaurant entrepreneur Matthew Corrin has proposed a tie-up between his Freshii chain and Subway.

Corrin took out a full page in Tuesday’s Globe and Mail to publish an open letter to the Connecticut-based Doctor’s Associates Inc., owners of the Subway brand.

A merger could see a sharp rise in expansion for Freshii, which listed on the TSX at the start of this year. Corrin says that many Subway franchisees have enquired about switching to Freshii.

Corrin has previously proposed a tie-up with McDonald’s.