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Japan's Nikkei closes above 30,000 on earnings rebound, economy growth hopes – TheChronicleHerald.ca

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By Stanley White

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese shares surged on Monday to close at over 30-year high on rising expectations for a rebound in corporate earnings and economic growth.

The Nikkei index ended up 1.91% at 30,084.15, reclaiming the psychologically important 30,000 level for the first time since August 1990. Energy, healthcare, and industrial shares led the gains.

The broader Topix rose 1.04% to 1,953.94 to close at its highest since June 1991.

Shares of companies that have reported positive earnings rose, as investors continued to bet on sectors expected to perform well as the global economy recovers from the coronavirus pandemic.

Japan is expected to start coronavirus vaccinations this week, which is also supporting stock prices. However, Japanese stocks have rallied 8% so far this month, and some analysts warn that the market may be overheating.

“Stocks have risen so fast you could say they’ve broken the speed limit,” said Ayako Sera, market strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank.

“Earnings growth has already been priced in for at least a year from now. There is reluctance to chase the upside from here, but stocks won’t fall too much.”

Equities also got a boost after data showed Japan’s gross domestic product grew faster than expected in the fourth quarter.

The stocks that gained the most among the top 30 core Topix names were Daiichi Sankyo Co Ltd up 3.6%, followed by Fanuc Corp, up 3.39%.

The underperformers among the Topix 30 were Hitachi Ltd down 0.94%, followed by Kao Corp that lost 0.48%.

There were 163 advancers on the Nikkei index against 59 decliners.

The volume of shares traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s main board was 1.15 billion, compared to the average of 1.26 billion in the past 30 days.

(Reporting by Stanley White; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi)

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Canadian economy posts worst showing on record in 2020 – Global News

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The Canadian economy posted its worst showing on record in 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the country shutting down businesses and putting people out of work.

Statistics Canada says real gross domestic product shrank 5.4 per cent in 2020, the steepest annual decline since comparable data was first recorded in 1961.

The drop for the year was due to the shutdown of large swaths of the economy in March and April during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic that crushed the economy.

Since then, economic activity has slowly and steadily grown.

Read more:
Canada’s small businesses now have $135B in debt due to COVID-19, CFIB estimates

Statistics Canada says the economy grew at an annualized rate of 9.6 per cent in the fourth quarter of last year, down from an annualized growth rate of 40.6 per cent in the third quarter.

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That was higher than expected, with the average economist estimate at 7.5 per cent, according to financial data firm Refinitiv.

However, despite the better-than-expected result for the quarter as a whole, December eked out a 0.1 per cent increase, which followed a 0.8 per cent increase in November.

Read more:
Governor of Bank of Canada points to child care, education to help ease protracted employment recovery

Statistics Canada noted that total economic activity in December was about three per cent below the pre-pandemic level in February 2020.

Looking ahead to January, Statistics Canada said its early estimate was for growth in the economy of 0.5 per cent.

CIBC chief economist Avery Shenfeld wrote in a note that the early January figure should set aside fears of an outright downturn in the first quarter.


Click to play video 'Coronavirus: Canada’s economy could suffer in 1st quarter of 2021 with rising COVID-19 infections'



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Coronavirus: Canada’s economy could suffer in 1st quarter of 2021 with rising COVID-19 infections


Coronavirus: Canada’s economy could suffer in 1st quarter of 2021 with rising COVID-19 infections – Dec 15, 2020

Statistics Canada said wholesale trade, manufacturing and construction sectors led the increase, while retail trade fell to start the year.

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BMO chief economist Douglas Porter said the economy soldiered through second-wave restrictions better than anticipated, and may signal a better-than-anticipated quarter, and potentially year overall.

“Look for new growth drivers to kick into gear as the economy re-opens in stages through this year, leading to roughly (six-per-cent) growth – a nice mirror image to last year’s deep dive,” he wrote in a note.

“It’s not precisely a V-shaped recovery, but it’s very close.”

© 2021 The Canadian Press

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Canadian economy contracted 5.4 per cent in 2020, worst year on record – The Tri-City News

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OTTAWA — The Canadian economy posted its worst showing on record in 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the country, shutting down businesses and putting millions out of work.

Statistics Canada says real gross domestic product shrank 5.4 per cent in 2020, the steepest annual decline since comparable data was first recorded in 1961.

The drop for the year was due to the shutdown of large swaths of the economy in March and April during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic that crushed the economy.

Since then, economic activity has slowly and steadily grown.

Statistics Canada says the economy grew at an annualized rate of 9.6 per cent in the fourth quarter of last year, down from an annualized growth rate of 40.6 per cent in the third quarter.

That was higher than expected, with the average economist estimate at 7.5 per cent, according to financial data firm Refinitiv.

However, despite the better-than-expected result for the quarter as a whole, December eked out a 0.1 per cent increase, which followed a 0.8 per cent increase in November.

Statistics Canada noted that total economic activity in December was about three per cent below the pre-pandemic level in February 2020.

Looking ahead to January, Statistics Canada said its early estimate was for growth in the economy of 0.5 per cent. 

CIBC chief economist Avery Shenfeld wrote in a note that the early January figure should set aside fears of an outright downturn in the first quarter.

Statistics Canada said wholesale trade, manufacturing and construction sectors led the increase, while retail trade fell to start the year.

BMO chief economist Douglas Porter said the economy soldiered through second-wave restrictions better than anticipated, and may signal a better-than-anticipated quarter, and potentially year overall.

“Look for new growth drivers to kick into gear as the economy re-opens in stages through this year, leading to roughly (six-per-cent) growth  — a nice mirror image to last year’s deep dive,” he wrote in a note.

“It’s not precisely a V-shaped recovery, but it’s very close.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 2, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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Economy

2020 was the worst year on record for Canada's economy. It shrank by 5.4% – CBC.ca

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Canada’s economy shrank by 5.4 per cent last year, official data from Statistics Canada showed Monday, making 2020 the worst year for the country’s economic output since record keeping began.

The data agency said Tuesday that Canada’s gross domestic product — the total value of all goods and services it produced — grew by 2.3 per cent during the last three months of the year, but that was nowhere near enough to offset the record-setting plunge it experienced during the the middle half of 2020.

Since bottoming out in the spring and early summer, economic activity has slowly, steadily grown.

For comparison purposes, Canada’s economy contracted almost twice as much as the U.S. did during the COVID-19 pandemic, despite the U.S. seeing far more cases per capita.

Preliminary data suggests the U.S. economy shrank by 3.5 per cent last year.

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