March 21st, 2017

Daily Market Commentary




Economic News:

  • Retail Sales in Canada were up 2.2% in month-over-month terms.
  • The Redbook Index, which measures same-store sales growth in US General Merchandisers, was reportedly down 0.6% and up 1.2% in month-over-month and year-over-year terms, respectively.
  • The UK Consumer Price Index was reportedly up 2.3% in year-over-year terms, above estimates.


  • Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau headed into the 2015 election pledging three years of modest deficits. It hasn’t panned out that way. Trudeau’s finance chief, Bill Morneau, will release his second federal budget Wednesday and all signs point to more red ink: annual deficits are presently projected in the C$30 billion (C$22 billion) range — the highest since the aftermath of the 2008 downturn.
  • Infrastructure is Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s biggest spending commitment. But he needs help. Canada is preparing to launch a government infrastructure bank to spur development of projects across the country, from roads to subways, by drawing in private capital from pension funds and other institutional investors. To do it, Trudeau will directly subsidize some projects, and agree to take a back-seat stake in others.

United States:

  • U.S. stock-index futures rose, in line with markets in Europe, before data forecast to show the current-account deficit widened. The U.S. equity benchmark has trailed its European peers since the March 15 Dutch election.
  • Lennar Corp., the second-largest U.S. homebuilder, reported fiscal first-quarter earnings that beat analysts’ estimates as job growth sets the stage for a strong spring selling season. Net income for the three months through February was $130.8 million, or 56 cents a share, compared with $144.1 million, or 63 cents, a year earlier.


  • European stocks were little changed as gains in banks and oil companies offset declines in miners. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index added 0.1 percent at 8:33 a.m. in London. Lenders followed yields on German 10-year notes higher, with Deutsche Bank AG snapping a three-day slump to rise 2.7 percent.
  • PPG Industries Inc. is preparing a renewed takeover bid for Akzo Nobel NV, according to people familiar with the matter, taking a second run at Europe’s largest coatings company after a previous offer was rejected
  • Asian stocks headed for the eighth day of gains, as rising shares of Hong Kong-listed Chinese firms offset declines in Japan. The MSCI Asia Pacific index rose less than 0.1 percent, poised for the highest close in about 21 months. The Hang Seng Index closed 0.4 percent higher, its highest since July 2015.
  • The success of an exchange-traded fund backed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government may help boost the acceptance of such products in the world’s second-fastest growing ETF market. Investors poured 92 billion rupees ($1.4 billion), or 3.7 times the targeted amount, into a fund of the top 10 state-run companies.
  • Indian billionaire Kumar Mangalam Birla just pulled off the biggest deal of his career. There won’t be any investment banks sharing in the glory. The tycoon’s mobile arm, Idea Cellular Ltd., said Monday it will merge with Vodafone Group Plc’s Indian operations to create the largest Indian wireless carrier with a $23 billion enterprise value.

*All sources from Bloomberg unless otherwise specified