TSX rises amid higher oil earnings from BCE Suncor

TORONTO — Financials and energy stocks gave the Toronto stock market a solid boost Thursday amid volatile crude prices and a well-received earnings report from the oilpatch.The S&P/TSX composite index jumped 129.27 points to 15,124.92.The Canadian dollar ran up 0.9 of a cent to cents US after tumbling more than a cent Wednesday as a four-day rally in crude prices came to an end on data that showed American inventories at their highest level in 80 years. U.S. indexes were sharply higher ahead of the release tomorrow of the government’s employment report for January.The Dow Jones industrials shot up 211.86 points to 17,884.88, the Nasdaq rose 48.4 points to 4,765.1 and the S&P 500 index was 21.01 points higher at 2,062.52.The March crude contract in New York closed up $2.03 to US$50.48 after tumbling $4.60 or almost nine per cent Wednesday. Prices had shot ahead 19% over the previous four sessions on hopes that a string of cutbacks by oil producers had started to bite into a huge supply and demand imbalance that has sent prices plunging by 50% since last summer.But those hopes took a hit from data showing U.S. inventories grew by 6.3 million barrels last week, about two-and-a-half times the amount that analysts expected.“Obviously the inventory numbers highlight that we’re not out of the woods yet,” said Stephen Lingard, managing director at Franklin Templeton Solutions.“In some ways, the pain really hasn’t been felt. A more drawn-out, extended lower oil price  environment will, I think, cause some more discipline on the high marginal cost producers. We have seen it in the rig counts, we have seen it in announced spending cuts, but it’s still early days.”The steep decline in prices was reflected in the quarterly earnings report from Suncor (TSX:SU), Canada’s biggest oil and gas company. Its net earnings shrank to $84 million, down 81% from the $443 million it posted a year earlier.Earnings ex-items were $383 million or 27 cents a share, eight cents short of estimates. Cash flow from operations fell to $1.49 billion from $2.35 billion. On the plus side, Suncor finished 2014 having spent $300 million less than its $6.8 billion forecast and its stock rose $1.06 to $38.55, helping send the energy sector up two per cent.March copper was unchanged at US$2.59 a pound and the base metals group also gained 2.5%.The TSX was also supported by the industrials and tech sectors.The gold sector was slightly lower as April bullion faded $1.80 to US$1,262.70 an ounce. Telcos and consumer staples stocks were also under selling pressure.BCE Inc. (TSX:BCE) posted net income of $542 million in the fourth quarter, up nearly 10% from a year before. Adjusted earnings were 72 cents per share, up nearly three per cent from least year and a penny ahead of analyst forecasts.BCE also says its annual dividend will be rising by 5.3% to $2.60 per share and its shares gained 18 cents to $58.97.After the close, Twitter reported quarterly adjusted earnings per share of 12 cents, far higher than analyst forecasts of six cents and its stock was up five per cent in after-hours trading. read more

Canada side deal with US on illicit trade emerges with release of

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he wanted to read the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal before passing judgment on it — and now he’ll have his chance.The text of the agreement finalized Oct. 5 between a dozen Pacific Rim countries has been posted on the website of the New Zealand Foreign Ministry. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ho OTTAWA – Canada has signed almost two dozen side letters with its trading partners in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, including an agreement with the United States to combat illicit trade.Canada also has a side agreement with Japan that appears to protect the exports of British Columbia logs, a key sticking point between the two countries.The letters were released as the text of the broader TPP agreement, finalized Oct. 5 by a dozen Pacific Rim countries, was released Thursday by the New Zealand government.Several watchdog groups expressed a wide range of criticism of the deal, saying it would hurt workers in poor countries and deprive poor people of access to cheaper medicine.Canada plans to release its own copy of the text once it is translated into French, said Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland.She said the government will solicit public comments on its website and is committed to a full parliamentary debate. But the consultation wouldn’t happen overnight, in part because she just had her first briefing and the text is 6,000 pages.“A real leitmotif of the Trudeau government is going to be openness and consultation,” she said.“I’m going to take that seriously. I’m going to review it.”The complex deal covers a vast range of goods and services and encompasses 40 per cent of the global economy.Canada released a series of side letters that cover bilateral issues with specific countries spanning several sectors.Canada and the U.S. traded a letter on border enforcement and information sharing, to “address illicit trade in counterfeit trademark and pirated copyright goods.”The letter says Canada and the U.S. are committed to “using appropriate risk management, as determined by each government, to address the challenges that this illicit trade poses at their respective borders.”They pledge to share information on goods that infringe copyright and trademarks in an attempt to target the “organizations engaged in this illicit activity” and “target future illicit shipments and to investigate trade in counterfeit trademark and pirated copyright goods.”Another letter between Canada and Japan appears to confirm that the current Canadian regime on the export of B.C. logs remains in place. The export of logs is heavily controlled by the federal and provincial governments, similar to the protections afforded to Canada’s dairy farmers under the supply management system.Timber had become a sticking point between Canada and Japan. Canadian government documents previously obtained by The Canadian Press said Japan was pushing Canada to eliminate or modify the export controls.“For greater certainty, Japan and Canada confirm that nothing in this letter shall have any other implications with respect to Canada’s existing practices and procedures relating to its existing measures concerning the export of logs of all species,” the new side letter states.“In respect of the export of logs, Japan and Canada maintain their rights and obligations under the WTO Agreement and any dispute regarding a matter relating to the export of logs shall be settled under the WTO.”The letter between Canada and Japan also formalizes the creation of a bilateral committee on forest products to help settle disagreements.“Either Japan or Canada may raise a matter relating to the understandings set out in this letter to the committee and the committee shall seek to resolve that matter,” the letter states.Several groups renewed their criticism Thursday of the secrecy surrounding the negotiation of the deal.The Council of Canadians urged the government to ask the parliamentary budget officer to review the deal.The Trade Justice Network called on the government to make changes to a deal it said would compromise the sovereignty of Canadian Crown corporations and exploit low-paid workers in south Asia.Doctors Without Borders said the TPP text confirms that millions will be deprived of affordable medicines because it extends patent protections to pharmaceutical companies, which delays access to lower-priced generic drugs.NDP trade critic Don Davies said Trudeau should not accept a bad deal negotiated by the previous Conservative government.“Prime Minister Trudeau can’t promise open consultations here and then tell others behind closed doors that he’ll be able to push the deal through,” Davies said in a statement, referring to a conversations Trudeau has had with U.S. President Barack Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Canada side deal with U.S. on illicit trade emerges with release of TPP text by Mike Blanchfield, The Canadian Press Posted Nov 5, 2015 3:50 am MDT Last Updated Nov 5, 2015 at 2:27 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more