Ross Marowits, The Canadian Press
Published Monday, April 20, 2020 10:20PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, April 20, 2020 11:00PM EDT
TORONTO – Canada’s main stock index rose slightly to start the week even as oil future contracts plummeted on oversupply pressure.
“This is a historic day. Oil futures were negative for the first time ever,” said Michael Currie, vice-president and investment adviser at TD Wealth.
The May contract for North American benchmark West Texas intermediate oil, which expires Tuesday, was down US$55.90 at US$-37.63 per barrel.
The dramatic move was driven by oversupply concerns, as fully stocked airlines and refineries aren’t necessarily looking for new oil deliveries.
“Basically, all the big buyers their tanks are full. Demand is way down. So they’re sitting on a ton of inventory,” he said in an interview.
The June crude contract was in better shape but still decreased more than 18 per cent on the day, falling US$4.60 to US$20.43 per barrel.
Crude oil prices hit their lowest level since 1986 and are down more than 80 per cent since the beginning of the year to levels below break-even that has forced Canadian producers to cut production.
Monday’s decrease came despite a deal last week between OPEC and Russia to slash production by 9.7 million barrels per day in a bid to offset some of the falling demand.
The May natural gas contract was up 17 cents at US$1.92 per mmBTU.
Lower crude prices pushed the energy sector down 1.5 per cent on the TSX as Shawcor Ltd., Baytex Energy Corp. and MEG Energy Corp. lost 9.3, 8.8 and 8.8 per cent respectively.
Currie said the sector didn’t fall even further because of comments over the weekend from the Canadian government vowing to help the embattled industry.
Consumer discretionary, utilities and industrials were also lower. The consumer sector fell nearly 1.8 per cent with shares of Linamar Corp. losing 3.6 per cent and Restaurant Brands International Inc. down 3.3 per cent.
Technology gained 3.2 per cent as Shopify Inc. enhanced its position as Canada’s third-most valuable company with its shares gaining 6.7 per cent. Earlier in the day, Shopify’s market value briefly surpassed that of TD Bank for the No. 2 spot.
Higher gold prices helped the materials sectors to expand 2.3 per cent while health care was higher with cannabis producer Aurora Cannabis Inc. up 5.1 per cent.
The June gold contract was up US$12.40 at US$1,711.20 an ounce and the May copper contract was down almost 2.45 cents at US$2.32 a pound.
“I think just a lot of the panic on oil has got people looking more to gold,” said Currie.
The S&P/TSX composite index closed up 28.40 points at 14,388.28 after a 434-point swing on the day.
In New York, U.S. markets were all lower with the Dow Jones industrial average losing 592.05 points or 2.4 per cent at 23,650.44. The S&P 500 index was down 51.40 points at 2,823.16, while the Nasdaq composite was down 89.41 points at 8,560.73.
The Canadian dollar traded for 70.99 cents US compared with an average of 71.24 cents US on Friday.
Currie said people are now debating if markets have come back too far, too fast during the upswing in the last few weeks.
“Before we get to real stable recovery, I think it needs to see the financial start to recover a bit, and we’re not seeing that yet.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 20, 2020.
Russia's Energy Minister Sees Shortage In Oil Market Next Month – OilPrice.com
Russia’s Energy Minister Alexander Novak is predicting a shortage in the oil market next month, Ifax reported on Thursday.
Novak said that the global oil markets could see a shortfall between three and five million barrels per day in July, depending on the outcome of the OPEC meeting that could be held yet this week.
The meeting that will help shape the future of the oil market over the next few months is proving difficult, however, even though it would appear that Saudi Arabia and Russia have reached an agreement in principle to extend the current level of cuts through the end of July.
The cuts are currently set to ease starting in July.
But negotiations among the cartel members are complex, with Iraq, Angola, Nigeria, and Kazakhstan overproducing—a bone of contention with more fastidious members such as Saudi Arabia.
OPEC+’s compliance reached 89% in May. OPEC’s second largest producer, Iraq, reached only 42% compliance, based off of preliminary data. While Saudi Arabia and Russia agreed to extend the cuts at least for another month, they are not interested in doing so unless Iraq and the other overproducers bring their production in line with the given quotas.
OPEC+ quotas call for total cuts of 9.7 million bpd. Oil demand, however, is still off by 21 million bpd as of May, according to Novak. But that’s up from 25-28 million bpd off in April.
Novak added that the filling up of oil storage has slowed, and that thanks to the current production cuts and the improving demand figures so far, the market should achieve balance in June, before slipping into a deficit in July.
Based on May’s production, OPEC has another 1 million barrels to cut to get into full compliance with the current deal.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
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Julianne Geiger is a veteran editor, writer and researcher for Oilprice.com, and a member of the Creative Professionals Networking Group.
CPA Canada hit by cyberattack, affecting data of more than 329000 – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News
The Canadian Press
Published Thursday, June 4, 2020 4:15PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, June 4, 2020 5:41PM EDT
TORONTO – A cyberattack on the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada website has affected the personal information of more than 329,000 members and stakeholders, the organization said.
The information includes names, addresses, emails and employer names, but passwords and credit card numbers were protected by encryption, CPA Canada said.
It warned the data could be used in email phishing scams and encouraged those affected to “remain vigilant.”
The attack by “unauthorized third parties” occurred between Nov. 30 and May 1, according to an internal investigation carried out with the help of cybersecurity experts.
The organization said it beefed up its security measures and contacted the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre and privacy authorities after learning of “a possible security incident” the week of April 20.
“Upon discovering this, CPA Canada took immediate steps to secure its systems and conduct a thorough analysis to determine what information may have been involved,” the group said in an email.
“There is no evidence that the encryption keys were affected in this incident and we have no reason to believe the encryption was compromised.”
The personal information relates mainly to the distribution of CPA Magazine and everyone affected has been notified, the organization said.
Hacks against a wide range of companies since 2018 have included medical test laboratory LifeLabs and credit union Desjardins, which combined saw the theft of the personal information of more than 19 million Canadians.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 4, 2020.
Canada's trade deficit doubled to $3.3B in April as COVID-19 walloped imports and exports – CBC.ca
Canada’s exports and imports plunged in April on falling oil prices and as the coronavirus pandemic shut down factories and retail stores, Statistics Canada said on Thursday, adding that the reopening of most auto assembly plants may help trade in the coming months.
“We are really getting hammered with respect to cars and crude,” said Peter Hall, chief economist at Export Development Canada.
Total exports fell 29.7 per cent to $32.7 billion in April, the lowest level in more than 10 years, and imports declined 25.1 to $35.9 billion, the lowest since February 2011, Statscan said.
The April trade deficit widened to $3.25 billion from a revised $1.53 billion in March, Statscan said, larger than the $2.36 billion forecast by analysts in a Reuters poll.
Exports of energy products fell $3.6 billion, the largest decrease on record, Statscan said. Crude oil exports led the decline, plunging 55.1 per cent.
Meanwhile, exports of passenger cars and light trucks slumped 84.8, while imports plunged 90 per cent.
The slump in auto and energy exports because of shutdowns was also reflected in Canada-U.S. trade data, where total trade fell by $23.4 billion, representing more than 90 per cent of Canada’s trade activity decline. The neighbouring countries’ automotive and energy sectors are highly integrated.
The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted global supply chains and forced officials in Canada to shutter non-essential businesses and urge people to stay at home. In recent weeks, Canada’s 10 provinces have gradually begun to restart their economies.
“While some factories and retailers began to reopen in May, it’s likely to take until the June data to see any material signs of rebounding economic activity,” said Royce Mendes, a senior economist at CIBC.
“With the focus now shifting to the recovery stage, and with many economies gradually re-opening since May, the worst is hopefully in the rearview mirror,” TD Bank economist Omar Abdelrahman said.
The Canadian dollar extended its decline after the release of the data, falling to 73.88 cents US.
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