Capital jobless rate steady at 5.8 per cent in October

The capital region’s jobless was 5.8 per cent in October, unchanged from September as a slight decline in the number of jobs was offset by a similar drop in the number of people looking for them, Statistics Canada reported Friday. With just one exception the monthly jobless rate so far this year has ranged between 5.1 per cent and 5.9 per cent, marking a sharp improvement from 2016 when the range was 6.1 per cent to 6.9 per cent. Nevertheless, there’s a disquieting aspect to the October job numbers because…

USD/CAD: Canadian Dollar Unchanged, CPI Next

The Canadian dollar is unchanged in the Friday session. Currently, USD/CAD is trading at 1.2754, down 0.02% on the day. On the release front, Canada will publish CPI, which is expected to edge lower to 0.1%. In the U.S., the focus is on housing data, with the release of Building Permits and Housing Starts. Both indicators are expected to post stronger numbers for October, with forecasts of 1.25 million and 1.19 million, respectively. The Canadian currency continues to have a quiet week, but that could change on Friday, with the…

Canadian Consumer Price Index Up In October

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased 1.4% on a year-over-year basis in October, following a 1.6% gain in September. The all-items excluding gasoline index rose 1.3% year over year in October, after increasing 1.1% in September. 12-month change in the major components Prices were up in seven of the eight major CPI components in the 12 months to October, with the transportation and shelter indexes contributing the most to the increase. The clothing and footwear index declined on a year-over-year basis. Transportation prices rose 3.0% on a year-over-year basis in…

Top 5 Things to Know in the Market on Monday

  1. Euro Recovers After Sliding on German Coalition Wobbles The euro was higher against the other major currencies, reversing sharp losses seen during Asian hours after talks aimed at forming Germany’s next coalition government collapsed overnight. Negotiations broke down after the pro-business Free Democratic Party (FDP) walked out of the talks, ending efforts to form a three-way coalition government. The collapse of talks leaves German Chancellor Angela Merkel with the option of forming a minority government. If no new government is formed the president can call a new election.…

Are Toronto and Vancouver headed for a housing boom?

  On Wednesday, the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) released its October home sale numbers. The results for the month show that while home sales are up in the country, prices are on the rise too. National home prices are up 5 per cent on average in October year-over-year, the CREA reports, and month-over-month sales were up 0.9 per cent, even though new listings for the month were down 0.8 per cent. But in some of the hottest markets in Canada, the price increase was much more dramatic compared to…

Hard to believe: Some consumers find free health insurance

  Consumers are getting the word that taxpayer-subsidized health plans are widely available for next year for no monthly premium or little cost, and marketing companies say they’re starting to see an impact on sign-ups. “Free Obamacare Coverage in 2018,” says an online pitch from insurance broker eHealth, showing a young woman with a big smile. “See if you qualify.” HealthSherpa, a private website that focuses on signing people up for Affordable Care Act coverage, said nearly 1 in 5 of its customers thus far will be paying no monthly…

Asian stocks fall in muted trading ahead of U.S. Thanksgiving

TOKYO – Asian shares fell in muted trading Monday ahead of the Thanksgiving holidays in the U.S., as gloom carried over from Friday’s retreat on Wall Street. Japan reported its exports rose 14 per cent in October from a year earlier on strong demand from China and the U.S. KEEPING SCORE: Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 index lost 0.6 per cent to 22,271.35. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.2 per cent to 5,946.60. South Korea’s Kospi dipped nearly 0.2 per cent to 2,529.40. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was down 0.1 per cent…

Robert Gibbens, dean of Montreal financial writers, was devoted family man

The first Parti Québécois government had just been elected in 1976, markets were slumping and everyone wanted to know what the separatists’ economic expert Jacques Parizeau had planned. While other reporters worked the phones, Montreal Star business columnist Robert Gibbens figured the best bet would be to knock on Parizeau’s door in Outremont. He was invited in for a chat and published his scoop in which the soon-to-be-sworn-in finance minister tried to allay investors’ fears. Gibbens, who died Saturday at age 92 from complications of a heart and lung condition,…

WestJet CEO: Air Canada’s new loyalty strategy a ‘huge opportunity’ for us

WestJet’s  CEO says Air Canada’s decision to launch its own loyalty program in 2020 represents “perhaps the biggest opportunity” for his airline. In an interview with BNN, Gregg Saretsky suggested that Aeroplan members may become “fearful” and redeem their points en masse before the upcoming transition. “All of a sudden the 30-year head start that Air Canada has had gets neutralized overnight,” he said. Air Canada revealed in May it will not renew its contract with Aimia, which runs the Aeroplan rewards program, when their current contract expires. Shares of…

‘Sickening’: First Nations left empty-handed as environmentalist pressure kills B.C. energy projects

  While opponents steal the limelight, scores of pro-development First Nations groups worry they’ll lose once-in-a-lifetime opportunities that could lift people out of poverty. Ellis Ross is filled with gut-wrenching dread as several major proposed energy projects unravel in British Columbia. The former chief counselor of the Haisla Nation near Kitimat has labored for more than 13 years to improve Indigenous lives through economic self-sufficiency — it’s how he says he measures success — and now it could all come crashing down because of what he believes are misguided government…