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Investors Return to Neglected Canadian Stocks as Economy Rises – BNN



(Bloomberg) — As the global economy picks up speed, investors are dusting off the Canada playbook.

Covid-19 vaccinations are gaining momentum and fiscal support is helping the growth outlook, lifting bond yields. That’s a winning set of conditions for the nation’s value-oriented and cyclical stock market, which is outrunning its U.S. counterpart in 2021 after years of lagging performance.

“Canada has what you want” in the current landscape, said Mike Archibald, vice president and portfolio manager at AGF Investments, a unit of Toronto-based AGF Management Ltd., which has C$39.8 billion ($31.6 billion) in assets under management.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index has trailed the S&P 500 nine of the past 10 calendar years but is beating the U.S. benchmark in 2021 with a 7.6% gain. That’s largely because of banks, which are producing a gusher of profits, and energy and industrial companies that are riding economic tailwinds.

Global investors have overlooked Canada for years in favor of countries with greater choice in high-growth technology stocks, primarily the U.S., but valuations and earnings momentum have become attractive, Archibald said.

Canadian equity exposure is also increasing, according to Bank of Nova Scotia analysts. They say the valuation gap with U.S. stocks is still “extremely wide,” with the TSX at a 23% discount on a forward price-to-earnings basis.

“We have started to notice some flows into Canadian-branded equity funds funds/ETFs this year,” strategist Hugo Ste-Marie wrote in a note to clients. “The bleeding of the past few years could be over if the macro landscape improves as we expect.”

Canadian exchange-traded funds have taken in more than $9 billion in less than three months this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg Intelligence analyst James Seyffart. That’s well ahead of last year’s pace, which saw a total of $22.2 billion of flows, or about $1.9 billion a month, and 2019 at about $17.5 billion.

‘Re-Rating’ Market

“The reflationary environment of robust global growth prospects and unrelenting monetary policy support are likely to embolden sentiment towards the previously-battered value space and prompt a re-rating in the S&P/TSX,” Candice Bangsund, vice president and portfolio manager at Montreal-based Fiera Capital Corp., said via email.

Bangsund, whose firm manages about C$180 billion, predicts Toronto’s index will beat the S&P 500 this year. Financials are nearly one-third of the benchmark; rising rates and an improving economy help insurers such as Manulife Financial Corp. and Sun Life Financial Inc. as well as banks, which see wider lending margins and reduced loan losses.

The first decade of this century was better for emerging markets such as Brazil and commodities-driven developed countries including Canada. “It might well be that the next decade lines up well for non-U.S. markets,” Craig Basinger, chief investment officer of Richardson Wealth, said in an interview.

On the other hand, hiccups in the effort to reopen economies could lower growth and inflation expectations, hindering Canada’s bull case.

“To be clear, we are not suggesting investors should ‘buy Canada’ at the expense of U.S. stock exposures,” but the group is worth a closer look, Archibald said in a note.

“If a sustained cyclical rally moves out of the realm of possibility and becomes a reality, Canadian stocks might, at long last, be something to finally gloat about.”

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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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.

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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)

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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)

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