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TSX gains ground as stocks whipsaw amid coronavirus crisis – Financial Post

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Canada’s main stock index climbed on Wednesday after the country’s legislators agreed to approve a $27 billion stimulus bill to help people and businesses deal with the coronavirus pandemic.

The bill – which also includes $55 billion in the form of tax deferrals – must now be approved by the unelected Senate, which will meet later on Wednesday.

At 10:07 a.m. ET (14:07 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 29.68 points, or 0.24 per cent, at 12,600.76.

A total of 2,792 Canadians have been diagnosed with the coronavirus and 27 have died, while more than a million people have applied for unemployment benefits in less than two weeks.

Also lifting the mood in equity markets was a US$2 trillion package approved by U.S. politicians to alleviate the economic impact of the virus outbreak.

Eight of the index’s 11 major sectors were higher but the materials sector fell 3.1 per cent, as gold prices retreated from a two-week high.

The energy sector dropped 0.3 per cent as U.S. crude prices fell 2.9 per cent a barrel, while Brent crude lost 3.5 per cent.
Canada, which is also a big exporter of commodities such as oil and gold, has been exposed to the wild swings in prices of metals and crude. The main index has lost about 30 per cent from its record closing high hit in February.

On the TSX, 181 issues were higher, while 45 issues declined for a 4.02-to-1 ratio favoring gainers, with 29.89 million shares traded.

The biggest percentage gainers on the TSX were Shawcor Ltd , which jumped 12.1 per cent, followed by shares of NFI Group , which rose 11.9 per cent.

Secure Energy Services fell 4.3 per cent, the most on the TSX, followed by the shares of Seven Generation, down 4.9 per cent.

The most heavily traded shares by volume were those of Bombardier and Air Canada.

The TSX posted no new 52-week high and one new low.

Across all Canadian issues there were one new 52-week high and 10 new lows, with total volume of 49.96 million shares.

© Thomson Reuters 2020

© Thomson Reuters 2020

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No winning ticket for Friday night's $70 million Lotto Max jackpot – CTV News

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TORONTO —
No winning ticket was sold for the $70 million jackpot in Friday night’s Lotto Max draw.

However, five of the 19 Maxmillions prizes of $1 million each were won by ticket holders in the Prairies and in Newfoundland and Labrador.

The jackpot for the next Lotto Max draw on Apr. 7 will again be $70 million and there will be 20 Maxmillions prizes up for grabs.

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Demand Destruction Will Decimate Oil Prices – OilPrice.com

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Demand Destruction Will Decimate Oil Prices | OilPrice.com

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    I have been warning since January that the long-term ramifications of the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak on the oil industry could be significant and long-lasting. In March we saw significant impacts on price and demand. What we don’t know is how long this crisis will last.

    But, I believe we are in the midst of an existential crisis for the oil industry as we know it. This will not be the same industry after this dark period ends. Only the strongest companies are going to survive the financial pain that lies ahead.

    There are many variables in this equation, and they are constantly changing. Demand is plummeting, production and prices are following, and Saudi Arabia and Russia are jockeying to hold onto market share.

    Vitol, the world’s largest independent oil trading company, has said that oil demand could slump as much as 20 million barrels per day (BPD) over the next few weeks, which would lead to an annual decline of 5 million BPD. Vitol CEO Russell Hardy said “It’s pretty huge in terms of anything we’ve had to deal with before.”

    Goldman Sachs said it expected March demand to be down 10.5 million BPD, followed by a further decline to 18.7 million BPD in April. The company noted that this deep plunge would be beyond the ability of OPEC to counteract: “A demand shock of this magnitude will overwhelm any supply response including any potential core-Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries output freeze or cut.”

    Related: U.S. Shale Ready To Fire Back In The Oil Price War

    Meanwhile, benchmark prices have temporarily settled in the lower $20s, but local prices have dropped even further. In a story that warned of the largest idling of oil wells in the past 35 years, Oilprice.com reported that last week some crude prices were trading in the $1 per barrel range

    The oil and gas sector has been crushed, and there will be a great deal of collateral damage. It’s hard to see when the sector will emerge from this crisis, or what the supply situation will be when we do. But it’s inevitable that there will be fewer players in the sector when this crisis ends.

    By Robert Rapier

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      Five Canadian banks cut credit card interest rates to ease COVID-19 impact – Canoe

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      TORONTO — Bank of Nova Scotia, Toronto-Dominion Bank, Royal Bank of Canada, National Bank of Canada and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce said on Friday they are cutting interest rates on credit cards to provide relief to customers affected by COVID-19 pandemic.

      Late on Friday, Scotiabank said it would reduce credit card interest rates to 10.99% for personal and small business clients who have been approved for, or seek, payment deferrals.

      Earlier, in separate statements, TD Bank said it will cut credit card interest rates by 50% for customers experiencing hardship, and Royal Bank said it will reduce the charges by the same extent for clients receiving minimum payment deferrals.

      National Bank will allow credit card customers to defer minimum payments for up to 90 days and reduce annual interest rates to 10.9% for these clients, it said.

      CIBC too will reduce interest rates to 10.99% on personal credit cards for users who request to skip a payment, Canada’s fifth-largest lender said. (https://reut.rs/3aHZM9Q)

      Most Royal Bank, TAD, Scotiabank and CIBC credit cards charge 19.99% interest on purchases. Most National Bank cards charge 20.99%.

      Last week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said his government had urged banks to help alleviate the burden credit card interest rates placed on Canadians. Friday’s moves are the latest in a raft of measures announced by the banks to ease the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on customers.

      Canada’s six biggest banks unveiled a mortgage-relief plan two weeks ago to allow homeowners to defer or skip mortgage payments for up to six months as businesses come to a grinding halt due to the pandemic.

      National Bank said it will refund additional interest accrued on the deferred mortgage payments. The lender will also waive fees for transfers and stop payments on checks and pre-authorized debts, and will not charge overdraft fees on checking and high-interest savings accounts, it said.

      Since the mortgage-relief plan was announced, the banks have received nearly half a million requests that have been completed or were being processed.

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