(Kitco News) – The gold market remains under pressure but is seeing little movement following stronger than expected U.S. new home sales numbers.
New home sales increased 11.9% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 811,000 units last month, the Commerce Department said on Thursday. The sales data came in much stronger than expected as consensus forecasts expected a sales rate of 759,000 homes.
The report also noted that sales are down 14% compared to December 2020.
The gold market is not seeing much reaction to the latest housing data. Spot gold futures last traded at $1,836.98 an ounce, down 0.60% on the day.
According to some market analysts, gold is seeing little reaction to the latest economic data as traders prepare for the Federal Reserve’s latest monetary policy decision, which comes out in the afternoon. The U.S. central bank is expected to lay the groundwork for a rate hike in March.
Economists are closely watching the U.S. housing market. This sector could start to cool as rising interest rates will push mortgages higher.
Looking at some of the components of the latest housing report, the median sales price of new houses sold in December 2021 was $377,700. Meanwhile, the average sales price was $457,300.
Looking at inventory levels, the report said that the supply of new homes sale as of the end of December totaled 403,000 homes, representing a 6-months supply.
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YYJ delays: RCMP called to Victoria International Airport | CTV News – CTV News VI
Travellers who have a flight planned at Victoria International Airport (YYJ) on Tuesday are being warned of travel disruptions due to police activity.
Sidney/North Saanich RCMP say the airport was closed after a suspicious package was discovered around 1:30 p.m.
Cpl. Andres Sanchez of the Sidney/North Saanich RCMP says that the airport was closed to all incoming and outgoing flights “out of an abundance of caution.”
He said the airport will remain closed until police “can be sure it is safe for the public to travel.”
“The package was located at the departures/check-in [area], so it was brought in by a passenger,” said Sanchez Tuesday afternoon.
The package was flagged by Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) staff who spotted what appeared to be an “incendiary device” within a bag, he said.
“CATSA employees performed the checks that you normally do at a departure situation at the airport,” he said.
“They scanned the bag and found there were items inside that could be of a dangerous nature and at that point police were called to the scene to investigate further,” he said.
Mounties say a specialized RCMP team has been called in from the mainland to remove the bag from the premises and to “ensure the package is dealt with in a safe manner.”
PASSENGER UNDER INVESTIGATION
Sanchez says the individual who brought the bag is under investigation, but it’s unclear if any criminal charges will be recommended yet.
“Again, because we don’t know what’s in that bag we can’t speak further on that,” he said.
In the meantime, people are asked to avoid the airport for the next few hours, according to RCMP spokesperson Sgt. Chris Manseau.
Around 4:20 p.m., the airport said all scheduled commercial flights for the next two hours were cancelled.
The airport is working with airlines to keep them updated on the status of flights.
Police say they hope the airport will be able to reopen Tuesday night, but it’s uncertain how long the investigation at the property will take.
Travellers should check the YYJ website for the latest updates on their flights, according to the airport.
Scotia hikes dividend, smashes Q2 profit estimates – BNN
Bank of Nova Scotia opened earnings season for Canada’s Big Six on Wednesday with a beat and a dividend hike as profit climbed in all its major divisions other than capital markets.
Scotia said its net income in the fiscal second quarter, which ended April 30, rose to $2.75 billion from $2.46 billion a year earlier. On an adjusted basis, Scotia earned $2.18 per share; the average estimate among analysts tracked by Bloomberg was for $1.97 in adjusted per-share earnings.
The bank also announced its quarterly dividend will rise to $1.03 per share from $1.00, effective July 27.
“Continued loan growth of 13 per cent, an improving net interest margin, strong customer balance sheets, combined with prudent expense management, positions the Bank well to grow its earnings,” said Brian Porter, Scotia’s president and chief executive officer, in a release.
Profit in Scotia’s core Canadian banking division soared 27 per cent year-over-year to $1.18 billion in the latest quarter. Credit quality was a swing factor compared to a year earlier, as Scotia released $12 million from the unit’s provisions for loan losses in the most recent quarter; a year earlier, it booked $145 million in new provisions for loans that could go bad.
Scotia said it had an average of $271.8 billion in residential mortgages on its Canadian loan book during the fiscal second quarter, up almost three per cent from the prior quarter.
Growth in Scotia’s international division was even more pronounced, as net income surged 44 per cent year-over-year to $605 million as provisions for loan losses fell and revenue climbed.
Scotia’s Global Banking and Markets division was a profit drag, as net income slumped six per cent year-over-year to $488 million, which the bank attributed to higher non-interest expenses and lower non-interest income.
In a report to clients after the results were released, Barclays Analyst John Aiken said he doesn’t think Scotia will be an outlier with the profit slump in its capital markets business.
However, Aiken did flag that the drop in Scotia’s Common Equity Tier 1 capital ratio to 11.6 per cent from 12.0 per cent in the previous quarter might not sit well with investors.
“The only real knock on the results will likely be Scotia’s lower-than-peer regulatory ratio, which was drawn down again from share repurchases. While we believe that [Scotia] is heading towards a much more efficient capital level, the market does not like outliers, particularly where capital and an uncertain outlook is concerned.”
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