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Global stocks fall on escalating US-China tensions – BNN

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TORONTO — North American stock markets closed the week with a down day on Friday despite gold prices briefly surpassing US$1,900 per ounce for the first time since 2011.

In Toronto, the S&P/TSX composite index closed down 21.59 points at 15,997.06.

For the week, it was off by 124.42 points, ending a run of three consecutive weekly gains.

“We’re going through earnings season so there are a lot of results out right now and what we’re getting is a mix of numbers,” said Colin Cieszynski, chief market strategist at SIA Wealth Management.

“We’re kind of in the middle of some profit taking, some bargain hunting, some rotation between sectors,” he said.

“It’s a very different kind of market than what we’ve been used to the last couple of years. It’s not one where everything’s going up or everything’s going down. It’s back into being more of a stock picker’s market.”

Materials shone brightest among sectors trading in Toronto as the August gold contract closed up US$7.50 at US$1,897.50 an ounce, tantalizingly close to the record US$1,1120 per ounce set in 2011.

Yamana Gold Inc. stock rose 9.29 per cent, or 72 cents, to $8.47 on Friday after the company hiked its dividend and suggested it could increase its production guidance for 2020.

Wheaton Precious Metals Corp. was up 5.62 per cent, or $3.83, to $71.93 and Lundin Gold Inc. rose 4.36 per cent, or 51 cents, to $12.22.

The September crude contract was up 22 cents at US$41.29 per barrel.

Cieszynski said the market is beginning to accept a stabilized price near US$40 after extreme volatility caused by the pandemic lockdowns of the past few months.

Two oil sands producers who reported earnings earlier this week were among the most active. Suncor Energy Inc. fell 62 cents to $23.13 and Cenovus Energy Inc. rose seven cents to $6.73.

The September natural gas contract was up 3.2 cents at nearly US$1.87 per mmBTU.

Utilities were the worst performing sector on the day, with Brookfield Renewable Partners LP off by $2.26 to $71.04 and TransAlta Corp. down 24 cents to $8.44.

The September copper contract was down 4.6 cents at about US$2.89 a pound.

South of the border, the tech sector weighed down all three major U.S. stock averages for the second day in a row as tensions continued to rise between the world’s two largest economies.

On Friday, China ordered the United States to close its consulate in the western city of Chengdu, in apparent response to the Trump administration ordering Beijing earlier this week to close its consulate in Houston.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 182.44 points at 26,469.89.

The S&P 500 index was down 20.03 points at 3,215.63, while the Nasdaq composite was down 98.24 points at 10,363.18.

The Canadian dollar traded for 74.51 US compared with 74.67 on Thursday.

“We could continue to see the market consolidate and trend sideways for the next several weeks as we work our way through earnings reports. That will take us to the latter part of August,” said Cieszynski.

He said he expects political conventions and other news concerning U.S. presidential election campaigns will then start to have greater sway in the markets.

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Ontario adds 151K new jobs in July, majority are part-time positions – CTV Toronto

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TORONTO —
Ontario added 151,000 new jobs in July, the country’s national statistics agency said, but the majority of them were part-time positions.

After losing more than one million jobs in a three-month time span following the declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ontario added about 378,000 jobs in June. In July, employment in the province grew by 2.2 per cent.

The Labour Force Survey (LFS) released on Friday, which used the week of July 12 to 18 as a sample, said that businesses and workplaces across Canada have continued to reopen after being shuttered due to COVID-19 restrictions. At the same time, the survey was conducted while much of the province was still in Stage 2 of Ontario’s economic reopening plan.

“Although public health restrictions had been substantially eased in most parts of the country—with the exception of some regions of Ontario, including Toronto—some measures remained in place, including physical distancing requirements and restrictions on large gatherings,” Statistics Canada said.

Of the 151,000 jobs added in Ontario, Statistics Canada said that about 145,000 were part-time positions. The agency attributed that number to the fact that part-time workers were hit hardest by the shuttered economy months ago.

“This was due to a number of factors, including part-time work being more prevalent in industries that were most affected by the COVID-19 economic shutdown, namely retail trade and accommodation and food services.”

Ontario’s unemployment rate has now fallen to 11.3 per cent, down from 12.2 per cent the previous month.

In Toronto, employment also rose by about 2.2 per cent, with close to 26,000 jobs added in the city. Statistics Canada says that employment in Toronto has now reached 89.9 per cent of its February, pre-COVID-19 level.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford posted a brief message on social media Friday afternoon saying he was happy to see the July labour numbers.

“What I love are the job numbers today, 150,000 people going back to work, the premier said in a video on Twitter, noting that there is still work to do to rebuild the province’s economy.

“That is great news for the people of Ontario.”

About 419,000 jobs were gained across Canada in the month of July, reducing the national unemployment rate to 10.9 per cent. 

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16 new cases of COVID-19 reported in Manitoba Saturday – Global News

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Manitoba public health officials announced 16 new cases of COVID-19 in the province Saturday.

That brings the total number of cases in Manitoba to 507.






2:05
Coronavirus: Should Walmart, other big-box stores make its customers wear masks?


Coronavirus: Should Walmart, other big-box stores make its customers wear masks?

The province said Manitoba has now performed 100,074 tests for COVID-19 with 1,263 lab tests completed on Friday. The test positivity rate for Manitoba is 1.23 per cent.

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The active caseload is 148 with 351 people considered recovered.

Nine people are in hospital due to the virus with three of those in the intensive care unit. The number of deaths attributed to the virus remains unchanged at eight.

Health officials say 12 of the new cases are from the Prairie Mountain health region and four are from the Southern health-Sante Sud health region.

While case investigations are ongoing, the province says a majority of today’s cases appear to be linked to known clusters in the Brandon area or close contacts.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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South Regina Walmart sees second COVID-19 exposure alert in 2 days – CTV News

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REGINA —
The Saskatchewan Health Authority has sent out a COVID-19 exposure alert for a Walmart in south Regina, for the second time in two days.

In a release, the SHA said the Walmart Grasslands location in Regina was possibly exposed to the virus on August 5, between 11:15 a.m. and 11:45 a.m.

Although risk of transmission to the public is low, the SHA is advising anyone who visited the store during the affected times to monitor for COVID-19 symptoms for 14 days.

The SHA sent out an alert about a separate instance of COVID-19 exposure at this location, in a release Friday.

Symptoms include fever, cough, headache, muscle and/or joint aches and pains, sore throat, chills, runny nose, nasal congestion, conjunctivitis, dizziness, fatigue, nausea/vomiting and diarrhea.

COVID-19 testing is available to anyone who wants it. If symptoms develop call 811 to get a referral for a test.

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