May 20, 2014

Daily Market Commentary



  • Wholesale sales in Canada were reportedly down 0.4%, below estimates of a 0.4% rise.
  • The Consumer Price Index in Great Britain was reportedly up 0.4% and 1.8% in month-over-month and year-over-year terms, respectively.
  • The Consumer Price Index core for Great Britain was reportedly up 2.0%.



  • West Texas Intermediate traded near a four-week high amid speculation crude supplies will shrink further at Cushing, the biggest U.S. oil-storage hub, halting gains in nationwide stockpiles. Brent was steady in London as Libyan oil facilities remained unaffected by renewed violence.
  • Gold was little changed below $1,300 an ounce on speculation higher prices yesterday curbed physical demand and as investors weighed tension over Ukraine.
  • Nickel fell in London, paring the biggest climb in 20 months, on speculation that supplies can satisfy demand for the metal for now.


Company News:



  • First Nations activists are turning their attention to TransCanada Corp.’s proposed Energy East project, vowing to mount the same kind of public opposition that threatens the Keystone XL pipeline in the United States and Enbridge Inc.’s Northern Gateway in British Columbia. Some 70 First Nations leaders met in Winnipeg recently to plan a strategy they hope will block TransCanada’s ambitious plan to ship more than 1 million barrels a day of crude from Western Canada to refiners and export terminals in the East, despite widespread political support for the $12-billion project.
  • Air Canada is beefing up its existing Asian routes to lure Canadian families, while making plans for new destinations to tap into the growing middle class in emerging economies such as China and India.
  • Target Corp., seeking to fix a money-losing expansion into Canada, pushed out its top executive in the country and announced plans to name a non-executive chair to oversee the effort.


United States:

  • U.S. stock-index futures were little changed, after equities climbed for two days, as investors awaited earnings from Staples Inc. to Home Depot Inc.
  • Blackstone Group LP agreed to sell five office properties in Boston to a venture led by Toronto- based Oxford Properties Group for about $2.1 billion, according to two people with knowledge of the transaction.
  • Pfizer Inc.’s 69.4 billion-pound ($117 billion) pursuit of British drug-maker AstraZeneca Plc is likely to fail because U.K. takeover law prohibits the U.S. firm from sweetening its offer further after declaring it final, according to people familiar with the transaction.
  • Home Depot Posted first-quarter profit that trailed some analysts’ estimates after a long winter slowed the rebound in the housing market.Staples Inc. slid as much as 12% in early trading after forecasting second-quarter profit that was less than analyst’s estimated.



  • European stocks were little changed, with the Stoxx Europe 600 Index trading near a six-year high, as investors weighed corporate earnings.
  • JPMorgan Chase & Co., HSBC Holdings Plc and Credit Agricole SA were accused today by the European Union’s antitrust arm of colluding to manipulate interbank lending rates.
  • BP Plc faces billions of dollars in additional payments after failing again to convince an appeals court that the company is being forced to pay claims that aren’t directly related to the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
  • Asian stocks fell as energy shares led declines. Thailand’s stock index posted its biggest loss in almost two weeks as the army imposed martial law.
  • Narendra Modi swept to power in India on a pledge to revive economic growth. He’ll have to unlock $255 billion of stalled projects to achieve that goal. As many as 12 of 25 CEOs surveyed before election results were announced said reviving stuck projects should be the top focus of the new government; 7 of 11 economists agreed.