March 4th, 2016

Daily Market Commentary



  • International Merchandise Trade in Canada was lower than expected at -$0.66B.
  • The US Unemployment rate was steady at 4.9%.
  • Average hourly earnings in the US were down 0.1% and up 2.2% in month-over-month and year-over-year terms, respectively.
  • Nonfarm Payrolls in the US, used as a proxy for job additions, were up 242K, far above estimates of 190K.



  • Oil headed for the longest run of weekly gains since May amid signs of lower output in the U.S. and OPEC, while producers prepared to renew talks on an agreement to freeze production.
  • Gold cruised to a bull market, heedless of rebounding stock markets, as traders expect central banks to curb yields on other investments in an effort to spur economic growth.


  • Freeport-McMoRan Inc.’s agreed to sell part of its stake in a copper-gold project in Serbia to Lundin Mining Corp. for as much as $263 million, as part of its drive to offload assets to cut its debt by about $5 billion.
  • Target Canada was close to a deal with its key creditors on Thursday that could pave the way to ending the U.S.-owned retailer’s year-long-plus insolvency saga. (Globe and Mail)
  • A farewell to gold: Canada sells its last ounce – The government has been winding down its holdings of the precious metal for years, but this is the first time it has declared itself to be effectively gold-free since the exchange fund account was established in July, 1935 (Globe and Mail)

United States:

  • Foxconn Technology Group and Sharp Corp. are aiming to sign their $6 billion takeover agreement as early as Monday after deciding the deal won’t require major changes, according to people familiar with the matter.
  • Exxon Mobil Corp. has become the first major U.S. oil company to ship American crude overseas, joining a band of independent traders that are trying to ease a glut at home after a 40-year export ban was lifted.
  • Facebook Inc. will stop routing advertising sales of its largest U.K. clients through Ireland, increasing its tax bill by millions of pounds in a bid to improve transparency after facing criticism on tax avoidance.


  • European stocks climbed as investors awaited a key U.S. jobs report and miners surged amid speculation of further stimulus measures from the annual gathering of China’s national legislature.
  • Deutsche Bank AG dismissed Austrian Finance Minister Hans Joerg Schelling’s last-minute effort to rescue a tender for 10.8 billion euros ($12 billion) of bad bank debt, putting the deal at risk of failure as a March 11 deadline looms.
  • BHP Billiton Ltd.’s credit rating was cut two levels by Moody’s Investors Service as lower commodity prices are set to weigh on the world’s biggest mining company’s earnings even after it cut its dividend and spending.
  • Emerging markets extended their best week since October and copper advanced, supporting mining stocks. Treasuries and developed-nation shares were little changed before U.S. jobs data.
  • Asian stocks climbed, with the regional index on course for its biggest three-week advance since 2009.


*All information is taken from Bloomberg, unless otherwise noted.