TSX closes lower amid rising commodities concerns about US rally

TSX closes lower amid rising commodities, concerns about U.S. rally by Malcolm Morrison, The Canadian Press Posted Nov 19, 2013 6:34 am MDT TORONTO – The Toronto stock market closed lower Tuesday amid concerns that the U.S. stock rally may be running out of steam and a new report predicting slower than anticipated global economic growth.The S&P/TSX composite index ticked 15.46 points lower to 13,442.6 while the Canadian dollar fell 0.36 of a cent to 95.5 cents US.The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development cut its 2014 forecast for global growth from four per cent to 3.6 per cent. The OECD cited U.S. fiscal uncertainty, the impact of the Federal Reserve tapering its asset purchases and weakness in emerging markets.U.S. markets were lower after indexes backed off Monday after hitting key technical levels, raising questions about whether American markets are due for their first serious retracement in two years.The Dow Jones industrials declined 8.99 points to 15,967.03, the Nasdaq fell 17.51 points to 3,931.55 and the S&P 500 index slipped 3.66 points to 1,787.87.Investors remained cautious a day after the Dow broke 16,000 and the S&P breached the 1,800 mark — both for the first time. The Dow alone has surged more than 20 per cent this year and is up about 900 points since early October amid optimism that the Federal Reserve won’t be moving to cut back on its monthly US$85 billion of bond purchases until well into the new year.“You always have to be cautious when the market has gone up as fast as it has,” said Ian Nakamoto, director of research at 3MACS.“(But) any correction that could happen I would use it to buy the dips because valuations are still reasonable.”The TSX is up about 8.5 per cent for the year so far, held back by the mining sector. Most other sectors have put in solid performances, particularly financials, energy companies and industrials — companies Nakamoto thinks will likely take the TSX higher.“Much more of the direction of the TSX is going to be the financial and energy components because we have had such a correction in the mining sectors,” he observed.Commodity prices advanced and the energy sector was up 0.43 per cent as December crude on the Nymex moved up 31 cents to US$93.34 a barrel. Bankers Petroleum (TSX:BNK) ran up 13 cents to C$3.86.Niko Resources (TSX:NKO) surged 23.6 per cent to $1.78, recovering for a second day after plunging more than 50 per cent Friday after it said that it had secured a “very high cost,” $340-million loan to avoid defaulting on debt payments and other obligations.The gold sector was up about 0.55 per cent while December bullion climbed $1.20 to US$1,273.50 an ounce. The sector has been a major drag this year, plunging about 45 per cent as global inflation remains very low while economic conditions are gradually improving, making bullion less attractive as a hedge. Kinross Gold (TSX:K) advanced seven cents to C$5.18.The consumer sector was in focus Tuesday as Sears Canada Inc. (TSX:SCC) stock jumped $1.07 or 6.37 per cent to $17.87 as the retailer said that it will pay its shareholders an extraordinary dividend of $5 per share. Sears also posted a quarterly net loss of $48.8 million or 48 cents per share, mainly due to severance and restructuring costs.Food company George Weston (TSX:WN) posted earnings ex-items of $1.38 a share, seven cents shy of estimates. Its shares declined six cents to $80.85 as the company also said overall sales rose 2.1 per cent to $10.38 billion.The base metals sector weighed on the Toronto market, down 0.02 per cent as December copper edged up one cent to US$3.16 a pound. First Quantum Minerals (TSX:FM) fell 30 cents to C$18.55.In the U.S., Home Depot Inc. reported net income of US$1.35 billion, or 95 cents per share, up from $947 million, or 63 cents per share, a year ago. Analysts expected earnings of 89 cents per share. Revenue rose seven per cent to $19.47 billion from $18.13 billion. Wall Street had predicted $19.18 billion. Its shares gained 71 cents to $80.38.Shares in electric car maker Tesla (Nasdaq:TSLA) ran ahead $4.51 to $126.09 even as the U.S. government’s auto safety watchdog opened an investigation into battery fires in its Model S electric cars. The probe affects more than 13,000 cars from the 2013 model year that were sold in the U.S. Tesla has sold about 19,000 of the cars worldwide.Traders are looking to the release Wednesday of the minutes from the latest Fed meeting held late last month for hints about when the central bank might start cutting back on its asset purchases, which have kept bond yields low and encouraged people to buy equities. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

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Armed groups threaten every child in Central African Republic UNICEF warns

The report, “Crisis in the Central African Republic: In a neglected emergency, children need aid, protection – and a future”, finds that life has become harsher and more dangerous for children: thousands are trapped within armed groups, with thousands more, subject to sexual violence.Beyond the direct threats associated with the conflict, the country is suffering from a severe humanitarian crisis: 1.5 million children now require humanitarian assistance, an increase of 300,000 since 2016; over 43,000 children below five years old are projected to face an extremely high risk of death due to severe acute malnutrition next year; and one in four children is either displaced or a refugee.This crisis is taking place in one of the poorest and least developed countries in the world, and one of the most dangerous for humanitarian workers – UNICEF’s Christine MuhiganaIn addition, the number of attacks against aid-workers more than quadrupled – from 67 incidents in all of 2017, to 294 in just the first eight and a half months of 2018: “This crisis is taking place in one of the poorest and least developed countries in the world, and one of the most dangerous for humanitarian workers,” said Christine Muhigana, UNICEF’s Representative in the Central African Republic. “Conditions for children are desperate.”Civilians bear the brunt of the armed conflict in CAR, which is driven largely by fighting between a dozen or so armed groups over cattle routes and lands rich in diamonds, gold and uranium.The warring parties attack health and education facilities and their staff, together with mosques and churches, as well as sites where displaced people have taken shelter. Consequently, almost 643,000 people – at least half of whom are children – were displaced across CAR, and over 573,000 had sought refuge in neighboring countries as of September.Displaced children are being hit by a malnutrition crisis, many with extremely limited access to health care, safe water and sanitation and – for children forced into the bush – conditions are even more dire.CAR has the world’s second-highest newborn death rate and maternal mortality ratio, fewer than three out of five children make it through primary school, and almost half the population has no access to clean water. The country ranks 188 out of 189 countries on the UN’s Human Development Index, a composite indicator measuring life expectancy, income and education.Despite the difficult and dangerous conditions in which its staff are operating, UNICEF is working to reach children in desperate need, in a variety of ways.These include providing lifesaving food to 890,000 women and children to stave off malnutrition, immunizing children from deadly disease, providing emergency education and recreation, and aiding the recovery of children brutalized by armed groups.Despite the major upsurge in fighting and displacement, only 44 per cent of UNICEF’s US$56.5 million funding appeal for 2018 had been met as of the end of October. “The children of the Central African Republic have been abandoned for too long,” Muhigana said. “They need attention and help now, and they will need it for the long run.” read more

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