Daily Wrap-up: TSX closes lower as oil weighs

TSX closes lower as oil weighs... Employment insurance edged higher in February... Canada near the bottom for environmental performance...

Steve Randall
TSX closes lower as oil weighs
Equities dropped Thursday as the turbulent oil market reversed early gains. The International Energy Agency’s report of lower investment of non-OPEC producers including Canada and the US helped oil prices rise at the start of the session but a strengthening US dollar squeezed commodities.

The lower showing for energy stocks together with financials dragged the main TSX index lower but followed three higher closes.

Wall Street also finished lower while Asian and European markets were mixed on oil prices and regional earnings.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index closed down 30.09 (0.22 per cent)
The Dow Jones closed down 113.8 (0.63 per cent)
Oil is trending lower (Brent $44.71, WTI $43.38 at 4.55pm)
Gold is trending lower (1250.00 at 4.55m)
The loonie is valued at U$0.7858
Employment insurance edged higher in February
Statistics Canada reported Thursday that the number of people receiving employment insurance benefits edged higher in February. There were 548,700 receiving benefits in the month, 4,000 people (0.8 per cent) more than in January.

Provincially, the number of EI beneficiaries increased in Saskatchewan (+3.5 per cent) and Alberta (+2.4 per cent). There were also more EI recipients in Ontario (+1.1 per cent) and Quebec (+1.1 per cent). In contrast, fewer people received benefits in Nova Scotia (-1.7 per cent). There was little change in the remaining provinces.
Canada near the bottom for environmental performance
Canada ranks 14th out of 16 in a league table of environmental performance according to the Conference Board. Based on factors including air quality and climate change, the ranking means only the US and Australia are doing worse. Canada does score highly though for the generation of low-carbon energy. On this metric Canada makes the top 5.