HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEK – Feb. 9
After a miserable January, markets began February on an upbeat note as a rally in crude oil led to a surge in energy stocks, lifting the broader market.
The oil rally was interrupted on Wednesday by the oil storage report, which indicated inventories in the U.S. rose to their highest levels since the 1930s, but continued thereafter despite the bearish supply report.
International PMIs remained lackluster, with results from services reports faring somewhat better than their manufacturing counterparts.
Markets were further elated by this morning’s U.S. employment report which indicated strong hiring into early 2015. Employers added 257,000 positions in January, with the three month tally topping 1 million jobs. Better still, wages rose in January, more than offsetting the surprising December decline.
The Canadian dollar appreciated by almost two U.S. cents this week. The weekly gain masked a volatile week for the Loonie which was taken for a ride along with oil prices which managed to break above the US$50 per barrel mark for the first time since early January. As a result, Canada’s energy-rich S&P/TSX was up 3.3% this week.
Employment in Canada advanced by 35,000 net jobs in January, with all the job gains concentrated in part-time positions. The unemployment rate decreased to 6.6% from 6.7%.
Canada’s trade deficit came in at $649 million in December, widening from an upwardly-revised November deficit of $335 million. Imports (+2.3%) advanced at a faster rate than exports (+1.5%). The 2014Q4 readings suggest that net exports will likely be a drag on real GDP growth in the fourth quarter.
For further information, please contact:
John Maveety Manager, Residential Mortgages – Greater Ottawa Area TD Canada Trust
T: (613) 371-1984 F: (888) 899-1984 P: (866) 767-5442