February 20th, 2015
Daily Market Commentary
- Retail Sales in Canada were reportedly down 2% in month-over-month terms, below estimates of a 0.4% drop.
- Retail sales except autos in Canada were reportedly down 2.3%, below estimates of a 0.8% drop.
- Retail Sales in Great Britain were reportedly down 0.3% and up 5.4% in month-over-month and year-over-year terms, respectively. Both figures were below estimates.
- Oil headed for its first weekly decline in a month as U.S. crude stockpiles expanded to a record, adding to a global glut that drove prices lower.
- Gold is on course for the longest run of weekly losses in 17 months as investors speculated that faster U.S. economic growth will lead to higher interest rates. Platinum fell to the lowest in more than five years.
- Bombardier Inc. said it will issue about C$750 million ($600 million) in stock, fulfilling a pledge made last week when the company unveiled cost overruns on its CSeries family of jets.
- SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. was charged with attempted bribery and fraud related to construction projects in Libya as Canada cast a wider net in a corruption probe that already had ensnared former executives.
- Barrick Gold posted a fourth-quarter loss of $2.85 billion after booking billions of dollars in impairments, partly related to the Lumwana mine in Zambia. It also announced plans to sell an Australian mine and a joint venture in Papua New Guinea and said it would cut the size of its head office by almost half to 140 positions.
- U.S. stock-index futures were little changed, after equities fluctuated all week near a record.
- Apple Inc., which has been working secretly on a car, is pushing its team to begin production of an electric vehicle as early as 2020, people with knowledge of the matter said.
- Wal-Mart said its plans to boost the pay of its U.S. employees in the first half of the year to at least $9 an hour, $1.75 above the federal minimum wage.
- T-Mobile swung to a profit in its holiday quarter on a better-than-expected 19.4% surge in revenue, capping off a strong year of growth for the company.
- European stocks traded at a seven-year high as Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis returns to Brussels to meet his euro-area counterparts seeking an agreement that will let Europe’s most-indebted country avoid default.
- The pound declined the most in two weeks against the dollar after data showed retail sales fell for the first time since September and by more than economists forecast.
- Greece’s new Prime Minister said on Friday he was certain euro zone finance ministers would accept Athens’ request for an extended loan as EU pay-master Germany softened its hostile tone. (Globe)
- The euro zone private sector has expanded at the fastest pace in seven months this month, led by rising new orders, surveys showed on Friday, but firms are still cutting prices, suggesting the ECB will have a tough time spurring inflation. (Globe)
- Sony Corp. aims to boost operating profit 25-fold within three years by growing its camera sensors and PlayStation units, its chief executive said, outlining a strategy that could see the company exit the cut-throat TV and smartphone sectors.
- Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. said on Friday that it was asked by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for information about its dealings with a Chinese regulator, coming just five months after the company’s stock market debut.
*All information is taken from Bloomberg, unless otherwise noted.