US oil prices rebounded above $14 a barrel on Wednesday, a day after a sell-off sparked by a major fund selling its short-term holdings of the commodity amid virus-triggered storage concerns.
West Texas Intermediate, the US benchmark, for June delivery jumped 14.5 per cent to $14.13 a barrel in Asian morning trade.
It had plunged by more than 21pc at one point on Tuesday after the United States Oil Fund — a major US exchange-traded fund (ETF) — started selling its short-term contracts of the commodity.
Brent crude, the international benchmark, was trading 3.27pc higher at $21.13 a barrel.
Traders “are bargain hunting after a couple of days of massive sell-offs”, OANDA senior market analyst Jeffrey Halley told AFP.
ANZ Bank said in a note that the market was hit by volatility on Tuesday “as ETFs and index funds moved contract positions amid renewed concerns of negative prices” in short-term holdings.
The Oil Fund had sold its contracts due to expire in June to move into longer-dated holdings amid fears about storage space running out in the short term.
Following the US ETF’s move, Standard & Poor’s also told clients to sell their stakes in the June contracts and move them into July, ANZ said.
S&P operates the GSCI commodity index, which is tracked by pension funds and other big investors. Other indices, including the Bloomberg Commodity Index, took similar steps.
Oil prices have fallen to historic lows this month, with WTI crashing deep below zero for the first time as governments worldwide shut down businesses and air travel grinds to a halt due to the virus.
An agreement by top crude-producing nations to cut output by 10 million barrels a day from May 1 has done little to calm the market.
The production cuts “will probably take weeks to show up in the physical market, hence we are still stuck with the inventories issues that will continue to curb any semblance of bullish appetite”, said AxiCorp global market strategist Stephen Innes.
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.
Canada's mortgage insurer tightens rules as it forecasts home-price drop of up to 18% – Financial Post
TORONTO — The government-backed Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp said on Thursday it would tighten rules for offering mortgage insurance from July 1, after forecasting declines of between 9 per cent and 18 per cent in home prices over the next 12 months.
The move would make it harder for riskier borrowers, who offer down payments of less than 20 per cent, to access CMHC’s default mortgage insurance.
CMHC is establishing a minimum credit score of 680 instead of the current 600, the group said in an emailed statement.
It will also limit total gross debt servicing ratios to its standard requirement of 35 per cent of annual income, compared with a threshold as high as 39 per cent currently, and total debt servicing to 42 per cent versus as much as 44 per cent now.
The measures will help curtail “excessive demand and unsustainable house price growth,” CMHC Chief Executive Evan Siddall said in the statement.
He said COVID-19 has exposed longstanding financial-market vulnerabilities, and “we must act now to protect the economic futures of Canadians.”
Some 35 per cent of Canadian banks’ mortgages are insured, their financial statements show. CMHC is the top mortgage insurer, while Genworth MI Canada and other private companies also provide similar products.
Despite evaporating activity in the housing market due to the COVID-19 pandemic, prices have continued to rise as listings have fallen off alongside demand.
Home prices across the country rose 1.3 per cent in April from March, and data from Toronto and Vancouver real estate boards showed increases of 3 per cent and 2.9 per cent in May, respectively, from a year earlier.
The CMHC has taken a more bearish view of the housing market than others. Last week, some of Canada’s biggest banks forecast maximum price declines of about 7 per cent.
Siddall last week responded to critics of its more dire outlook, saying on Twitter they were “whistling past the graveyard and offering no analysis.”
© Thomson Reuters 2020
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