Connect with us


Canada's Ontario plots long-term path to balanced budget as economy rebounds – Reuters



TORONTO (Reuters) – Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, outlined on Wednesday a long-term plan to balance its budget as the economy recovers from the coronavirus crisis, forecasting a narrower deficit in 2021-22 and further gradual declines in subsequent years.

The budget deficit remains historically wide, with additional pandemic-related spending announced, but a path back to balance could be welcomed by bond investors and credit rating agencies. The province is one of the world’s largest sub-sovereign borrowers.

The longer-term outlook gave investors a sense of how Ontario intends to tackle their high deficits, said Robert Hogue, a senior economist at Royal Bank of Canada.

“I think that will be viewed positively,” Hogue added.

The deficit is seen narrowing to C$33.1 billion ($26.4 billion) in 2021-22, matching a November projection, but lower than the record C$38.5 billion deficit forecast for 2020-21, a budget document showed. The fiscal year begins on April 1.

The deficit is then seen shrinking further in future years before swinging to a modest surplus in 2029-30.

The deficit is “neither sustainable nor desirable forever” but is necessary to get through the pandemic and to recover stronger, said Ontario Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy, in prepared remarks.

The economy is expected to grow by 4% in 2021 and 4.3% in 2022, with the pace then moderating in subsequent years. It contracted by an estimated 5.7% in 2020.

The 2021 growth forecast for the province, which is home to manufacturers and Canada’s major financial center, was less than the 4.9% pace seen in November and slightly below the average of private-sector forecasts.

With economic activity recovering, revenue is forecast to rise 1.4% to C$154 billion in the upcoming fiscal year, while expenses are seen falling to C$173 billion, a drop of 2.7%, as funding of COVID-19 programs dials back.

Still, the province announced new support measures for health and the economy. It includes C$2.3 billion more for COVID-19 testing and contact tracing in 2021-22, as well as additional money for parents and small businesses.

Pandemic-related spending was projected at C$51 billion over a four-year period, up from C$45 billion in November.

The province forecast net-debt-to-GDP rising to 48.8% in 2021-22 from 47.1% in 2020-21. It is seen peaking at 50.5% in 2024-25 before gradually declining to 46.4% in 2029-30.

The yield on Ontario’s 10-year bond was at 2.05% on Wednesday, down 2.1 basis points, in line with moves on other provincial bonds.

($1 = 1.2553 Canadian dollars)

Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama, Sonya Hepinstall, and Aurora Ellis

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Source link

Continue Reading


CANADA STOCKS – TSX ends flat at 19,228.03



* The Toronto Stock Exchange’s TSX falls 0.00 percent to 19,228.03

* Leading the index were Corus Entertainment Inc <CJRb.TO​>, up 7.0%, Methanex Corp​, up 6.4%, and Canaccord Genuity Group Inc​, higher by 5.5%.

* Lagging shares were Denison Mines Corp​​, down 7.0%, Trillium Therapeutics Inc​, down 7.0%, and Nexgen Energy Ltd​, lower by 5.7%.

* On the TSX 93 issues rose and 128 fell as a 0.7-to-1 ratio favored decliners. There were 26 new highs and no new lows, with total volume of 183.7 million shares.

* The most heavily traded shares by volume were Toronto-dominion Bank, Nutrien Ltd and Organigram Holdings Inc.

* The TSX’s energy group fell 1.61 points, or 1.4%, while the financials sector climbed 0.67 points, or 0.2%.

* West Texas Intermediate crude futures fell 0.44%, or $0.26, to $59.34 a barrel. Brent crude  fell 0.24%, or $0.15, to $63.05 [O/R]

* The TSX is up 10.3% for the year.

Continue Reading


Canadian dollar outshines G10 peers, boosted by jobs surge



Canadian dollar

By Fergal Smith

TORONTO (Reuters) – The Canadian dollar advanced against its broadly stronger U.S. counterpart on Friday as data showing the economy added far more jobs than expected in March offset lower oil prices, with the loonie also gaining for the week.

Canada added 303,100 jobs in March, triple analyst expectations, driven by the recovery across sectors hit by shutdowns in December and January to curb the new coronavirus.

“The Canadian economy keeps beating expectations,” said Michael Goshko, corporate risk manager at Western Union Business Solutions. “It seems like the economy is adapting to these closures and restrictions.”

Stronger-than-expected economic growth could pull forward the timing of the first interest rate hike by the Bank of Canada, Goshko said.

The central bank has signaled that its benchmark rate will stay at a record low of 0.25% until 2023. It is due to update its economic forecasts on April 21, when some analysts expect it to cut bond purchases.

The Canadian dollar was trading 0.3% higher at 1.2530 to the greenback, or 79.81 U.S. cents, the biggest gain among G10 currencies. For the week, it was also up 0.3%.

Still, speculators have cut their bullish bets on the Canadian dollar to the lowest since December, data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission showed. As of April 6, net long positions had fallen to 2,690 contracts from 6,518 in the prior week.

The price of oil, one of Canada‘s major exports, was pressured by rising supplies from major producers. U.S. crude prices settled 0.5% lower at $59.32 a barrel, while the U.S. dollar gained ground against a basket of major currencies, supported by higher U.S. Treasury yields.

Canadian government bond yields also climbed and the curve steepened, with the 10-year up 4.1 basis points at 1.502%.


(Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by Andrea Ricci)

Continue Reading


Canadian dollar rebounds from one-week low ahead of jobs data



Canadian dollar

By Fergal Smith

TORONTO (Reuters) -The Canadian dollar strengthened against its U.S. counterpart on Thursday, recovering from a one-week low the day before, as the level of oil prices bolstered the medium-term outlook for the currency and ahead of domestic jobs data on Friday.

The Canadian dollar was trading 0.4% higher at 1.2560 to the greenback, or 79.62 U.S. cents. On Wednesday, it touched its weakest intraday level since March 31 at 1.2634.

“We have seen partial retracement from the decline over the last couple of days,” said Greg Anderson, global head of foreign exchange strategy at BMO Capital Markets.

“With oil prices where they are – let’s call WCS still at roughly $49 a barrel – I still think CAD has room to strengthen over the medium term and even over a one-week horizon.”

Western Canadian Select (WCS), the heavy blend of oil that Canada produces, trades at a discount to the U.S. benchmark. U.S. crude futures settled 0.3% lower at $59.60 a barrel, but were up nearly 80% since last November.

The S&P 500 closed at a record high as Treasury yields fell following softer-than-anticipated labor market data, while the U.S. dollar fell to a two-week low against a basket of major currencies.

Canada‘s employment report for March, due on Friday, could offer clues on the Bank of Canada‘s policy outlook. The central bank has become more upbeat about prospects for economic growth, while some strategists expect it to cut bond purchases at its next interest rate announcement on April 21.

On a more cautious note for the economy, Ontario, Canada‘s most populous province, initiated a four-week stay-at-home order as it battles a third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Canadian government bond yields were lower across a flatter curve in sympathy with U.S. Treasuries. The 10-year fell 3.3 basis points to 1.469%.

(Reporting by Fergal Smith;Editing by Alison Williams and Jonathan Oatis)

Continue Reading