Daily Wrap-up: OPEC meeting’s making markets nervous

OPEC meeting’s making markets nervous... $2 billion deficit despite pain for Newfoundland & Labrador... Hydro One second offering raises $1.7 billion...

Steve Randall
OPEC meeting’s making markets nervous
The optimistic tone that’s been growing since the meeting of oil producers was announced weeks ago, has given way to nervousness as that meeting approaches.

Oil prices are holding above $40 but there is increasing fear that the meeting this weekend will produce little promise of stability and could see a slump in its wake.

The main index of the TSX closed flat Thursday as commodity prices weighed.

Around the world, the markets generally closed slightly higher in Asia and Europe while Wall Street was mixed with the Nasdaq ending the session lower.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index closed down 3.06 (0.02 per cent)
The Dow Jones closed up 18.15 (0.10 per cent)
Oil is trending lower (Brent $43.85, WTI $41.45 at 4.50pm)
Gold is trending lower (1227.60 at 4.50pm)
The loonie is valued at U$0.7783
$2 billion deficit despite pain for Newfoundland & Labrador
Taxpayers in Newfoundland and Labrador face some tough times ahead following a budget which will add 16.5 per cent to gas prices and add up to $900 to every tax bill depending on earnings as a temporary tax levy. The government also announced higher HST, income and corporate taxes. Critics say that the measures will lead to job cuts. The Liberal Party blamed the previous Progressive Conservative administration for the current challenges which it said could not be fixed by “Band-Aid solutions.” Despite the increased taxes there is still expected to be a $2 billion deficit.
Hydro One second offering raises $1.7 billion
A second wave of shares in Hydro One has raised $1.7 billion. There were 72.4 million shares sold at $23.65 including 9 million bought by Crown-owned Ontario Power Generation which will be given to workers as part of a deal on larger pension contributions.