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North American markets post modest gains, oil extends rally – BNNBloomberg.ca

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11:50 a.m. ET: TSX clings to gains, U.S equities push higher

North American equity markets hung onto their gains through midday Thursday, with the S&P/TSX Composite Index rising about half a per cent and the S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq Composite index all notching advances of about one per cent to extend Wednesday’s rally.

Crude continued to rise, with U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate surging 30 per cent to trade at US$18 per barrel. WTI has gained about 54 per cent over the last two sessions after the historic slide into negative territory Monday. Still, American oil has shed 70 per cent of its value since the beginning of the year over concerns of oversupply and demand destruction stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Alberta’s Western Canadian Select extended its gains, rising 64 per cent to hit US$8.22 per barrel. Canadian crude prices have more than doubled in the last two sessions, after sinking as low as US$0.13 per barrel in the oil rout earlier in the week.

In Toronto, eight of the 11 TSX subgroups were in negative territory, with utilities, information technology and real estate posting the largest percentage declines. The entirety of the TSX’s gains were driven by strength in materials and energy.

The Canadian dollar rose more than half a cent against its U.S. counterpart to trade at 71.27 cents U.S.

9:40 a.m. ET: North American markets post modest gains, oil extends rally

North American equity markets posted modest gains to open Thursday’s trade, with the S&P/TSX Composite Index, S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq Composite Index rising a little more than a third of a per cent to extend Wednesday’s rally. The modest strength in equities mirrored moves in Europe, where major indices pushed slightly higher.

Oil prices continued their March higher, with U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate surging nearly 20 per cent to trade at US$16.50 per barrel. That move higher has WTI up more than 40 per cent in the last two trading sessions, though American crude is still down 72 per cent on a year-to-date basis.

Alberta’s Western Canadian Select was up 56 per cent to trade at US$7.82 per barrel, though the Canadian crude contract is somewhat illiquid and only prices a handful of times per day.

That strength in crude combined with broad U.S. dollar weakness helped lift the Canadian dollar by about half of one per cent, with the loonie trading at 71 cents U.S.

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Telus selects Nokia, Ericsson as 5G suppliers – Yahoo Canada Finance

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Toronto, Canada - June 16, 2019: TELUS Scarborough office building in Toronto, canada. Telus is a Canadian telecommunications company that provides telecommunications products and services.

Vancouver-based national carrier Telus has selected Nokia and Ericsson as its 5G vendors, a press release from the company said. 

The news comes the same day that Bell announced it too would use Ericsson to provide radio access network (RAN) equipment. 

“Our team is committed to rolling out superior network technology from urban to rural communities, fueling our economy and driving innovation as we power Canadians into the 5G era through an unparalleled network experience,” Telus’ CEO Darren Entwistle said in the release. 

“Our 5G deployment will support economic growth and diversity that will be essential for the virtualization of health, education, teleworking, and stimulating the economic growth and recovery given the impact of COVID-19.”

During its Q1 2020 earnings, CFO Doug French said its focus right now is to help its customers during the COVID-19 crisis.

In its Q4 2019 earnings, the carrier said it was not going to pre-announce its 5G launch plans but that its initial module, or the first phase of the 5G rollout, would be with Huawei until the government approves its RFP.

Bell and Telus use Huawei’s network equipment in some areas. The federal government is still reviewing whether or not it intends to ban the Chinese telecommunications manufacturer from participating in Canada’s 5G rollout.

Rogers also uses Ericsson as a 5G vendor.

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North American equity markets rally in spite of widespread unrest – BNNBloomberg.ca

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1:15 p.m. ET: North American equity markets extend gains into midday, oil rallies

North American equity markets were solidly in positive territory through the midday trade, with the S&P/TSX Composite Index up 0.9 per cent, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gaining 0.8 per cent, the S&P 500 rising 0.4 per cent and the Nasdaq Composite modestly higher, up 0.1 per cent.

U.S. benchmark oil West Texas Intermediate accelerated higher into the afternoon, rising more than three per cent to US$36.55 per barrel to trade at session highs.

That helped lift the TSX energy sector, which led the way on the composite with a 3.4-per-cent gain on the session.

The Canadian dollar continued to move higher against its U.S. counterpart, gaining a third of a cent to trade at 74.04 cents U.S., though the greenback has been broadly weaker against almost all of its major-market peers.

9:35 a.m. ET: North American equity markets rally in spite of widespread unrest

North American markets notched gains into the early trading day Tuesday, with the S&P/TSX Composite Index and Dow Jones Industrial Average both up half a per cent, the S&P 500 gaining a third of a per cent and the Nasdaq Composite Index up a more modest 0.1 per cent. The gains came in spite of widespread civil unrest in the United States, as some police responded with force to demonstrators protesting against systemic racial inequities.

In Toronto, shares of BlackBerry Ltd. rose about seven per cent to extend Monday’s gains after an unconfirmed report from StreetInsider said the company has held talks with Fairfax Financial over a deal for Fairfax to acquire the remainder of BlackBerry’s shares. In an email to BNN Bloomberg, BlackBerry declined to comment on rumours or speculation.

BlackBerry shares rise on takeover report

BlackBerry is a stock to watch after a report Monday suggesting Fairfax Financial was considering a takeover of BlackBerry sent the shares higher. BNN Bloomberg’s Paul Bagnell has more.

Crude oil prices were higher, with U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate up half a per cent to US$35.0 per barrel, though it had briefly breached the US$36 level earlier in the day. Crude has gotten a boost from the OPEC+ group’s production curtailments, and there are reports the group may extend those cuts for another month to support prices.

Alberta’s Western Canadian Select also gained, rising 1.55 per cent to US$29.51 per barrel.

The Canadian dollar extended Monday’s surge against its U.S. counterpart, gaining another two-tenths of a cent to 73.90 cents U.S.

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All Addition Elle and Thyme Maternity stores in Canada to close down – CBC.ca

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Reitmans will shutter 77 Addition Elle and 54 Thyme Maternity stores across Canada as part of its restucturing process, the Montreal-based retailer announced Tuesday.

Last month, the 94-year-old fashion chain announced that it would restructure its operations partly because of COVID-19, which hammered retailers hard.

In addition to its eponymous chain focusing on work clothes for career-aged women, Reitmans also runs the Addition Elle, Thyme Maternity, RW & Co. and Penningtons chains.

As past of the restructuring process, Reitmans has decided to permanently close Addition Elle and Thyme Maternity. The former focuses on plus size fashions. The latter on maternity wear.

The move will result in the loss of about 1,400 jobs — 1,100 in store and about 300 at head office.

Reitmans has been around sine 1926 but the COVID-19 pandemic hurt the retail business hard. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

“The strategic decision to close two beloved Canadian fashion brands was not made lightly, but it is necessary to enable our business to move forward as a profitable organization,”  CEO Stephen Reitman said.

“All of the efforts we put forth to turn these brands around were derailed by the COVID-19 pandemic and, unfortunately, we can no longer afford the required resources to bring them back to profitability.”

Locations of both chains are set to reopen in the coming days, subject to physical distancing restrictions across the country, but the two retail chains will be in wind-down mode, liquidating as much inventory as possible to pay back creditors.

The last day for Thyme Maternity will be July 18.

The last day for Addition Elle will come the next month, on August 15.

Company wide, before the restructuring process began Reitmans had 576 stores across Canada, including 259 Reitmans, 106 Penningtons and 80 RW & CO. locations. Many stores for the surviving three brand names will also close, as the company plans to put more focus into selling online.

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