European stocks post gains, Asian stocks fall

European stocks were higher Wednesday ahead of testimony from the Federal Reserve chief that could either ease market turmoil or add to it.

See Full Article

Asian markets mostly fell in a spillover sell-off from the previous day's losses on Wall Street.

KEEPING SCORE: France's CAC 40 rose 1.9 per cent to 4,072.37 and Germany's DAX added 1.8 per cent to 9,036.53. Britain's FTSE 100 gained 0.9 per cent to 5,682.14. Wall Street was set to rise after a losing streak. Dow futures were up 0.5 per cent to 16,047.00. S&P 500 futures advanced 0.7 per cent to 1,861.60.

FED SPEAK: Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen begins two days of congressional testimony Wednesday that is keenly awaited by markets. Since the Fed decided to raise its key interest rate from a record low in December, the U.S. economy has hit some turbulence. Lawmakers will likely have a lot of questions for Yellen about the future pace of rate hikes and the Fed's role in supporting the U.S. economy.

THE QUOTE: "Traders and investors want clarity on the macro-economic environment and, to a degree, we hope this can come from key corporate feedback and the top-dog central bankers," said Chris Weston, chief market strategist at IG in Melbourne, Australia. "Janet Yellen takes the stage in today's U.S. session to testify to the House Financial Services Committee and, while her comments will be pre-prepared, the market wants to make sense of how she sees the world," he said in a commentary.

BANK DOUBTS: Investors are questioning whether European banks such as Deutsche Bank have sufficient capital after a slump in its share price and a record annual loss. Despite assurances from the German bank, some analysts expect it will need to issue new shares to raise billions of dollars, which is likely to further depress its share price. Banks also face economic headwinds that could slow lending and hurt profits. Some are also exposed to the slump in oil prices via their loans to energy companies. The nerves in Europe have spread to banks worldwide. In Asia, Mizuho Financial was down 5.4 per cent in Tokyo and ANZ fell 1.6 per cent in Sydney.

ASIA'S DAY: Japan's Nikkei 225 sank 2.3 per cent to 15,713.39 and is down about 11 per cent in the past month. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 shed 1.2 per cent to 4,775.70. Stock benchmarks also fell in Singapore, Indonesia, New Zealand and India but rose in Thailand and the Philippines. Markets are closed in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and South Korea for Lunar New Year holidays. Hong Kong and Korea reopen on Thursday and China and Taiwan resume trading on Monday.

ENERGY: Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils, was up 61 cents at $30.93 a barrel in London. It fell $2.56, or 7.8 per cent, to close at $30.32 the day before. It was about $60 a barrel a year ago and $109 two years ago. Benchmark U.S. crude was up 57 cents at $28.50 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The futures contract dropped $1.75, or 5.6 per cent, to close at $27.94 a barrel on Tuesday.

CURRENCIES: The euro fell to $1.1261 from $1.1289 the day before. The dollar fell to 114.88 yen from 114.95 yen.



Advertisements

Latest Economic News

  • Venezuela debuts new banknotes amid soaring inflation

    Economic CTV News
    CARACAS, Venezuela -- Venezuelans stood in long ATM lines Monday to take out new, larger-denominated bills that President Nicolas Maduro hopes will help stabilize the crisis-wracked economy. Maduro last month said he was scrapping circulation of the most used bill, the 100-bolivar note, and replacing it with new bills ranging from 500 to 20,000 bolivars. Source
  • Layoffs begin as Gildan backs away from American Apparel factories

    Economic CBC News
    American Apparel LLC said it had started to lay off staff on Monday, after Canadian apparel maker Gildan Activewear Inc. withdrew its initial plan to acquire some of the bankrupt U.S. fashion retailer's manufacturing operations. Gildan won the rights to American Apparel's brand with an $88 million US bid in a bankruptcy auction last week. Source
  • Trump threatens 35% border tax on German autos

    Economic CBC News
    U.S president-elect Donald Trump warned German car companies he would impose a border tax of 35 per cent on vehicles imported to the U.S. market, a plan that drew sharp rebukes from Berlin and hit the automakers' shares. Source
  • Rich man, poor man: A closer look at Oxfam's inequality figures

    Economic CBC News
    A combination of static disposable incomes and rising costs has created a feeling among many middle-class Canadians that they are falling behind. Reports point out the declining quality of our jobs and that the top CEOs earn 193 times what the average worker earns. Source
  • Luxottica to join with Essilor in $70B merger of two eyewear giants

    Economic CBC News
    A global eyewear colossus worth almost $70 billion Canadian is set to be created as Italy's Luxottica — owner of Ray-Ban and Oakley glasses — merges with France's Essilor, owner of Crizal, Transitions, Clearly Contacts and other brands. Source
  • Loonie, TSX lower; U.S. stock markets closed

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO -- The Canadian dollar and Toronto Stock Exchange were lower in late-morning trading, with key U.S. markets closed for a holiday. The S&P/TSX composite index dropped 50.54 points at 15,446.74 after nearly two hours of trading. Source
  • Hard Brexit details send British pound to hard landing under $1.20 US

    Economic CBC News
    The British pound fell to its lowest since 1985 on Monday after speculation ramped up that British Prime Minister Theresa May will lay out her plans for a so-called "hard Brexit" from the EU to European lawmakers tomorrow. Source
  • IMF expects Canada's economy to expand by 1.9% this year

    Economic CBC News
    The International Monetary Fund is projecting strengthening world growth in 2017 and has upgraded its estimates of Canada's economic potential. However the Washington-based agency says any moves by the incoming Donald Trump administration to restrict trade could dampen the improving outlook. Source
  • Home sales rebound in December after large drop in November: CREA

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO -- The Canadian Real Estate Association says home sales climbed 2.2 per cent in December compared with November as they recovered from a dip following the introduction of new mortgage rules. On a year-over-year basis, the real estate association says home sales were down five per cent last month compared to December 2015. Source
  • Home sales won't be as big an economic boost this year, CREA says

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO -- Home sales, one of the pillars of the economy last year, are not going to be as big of a driver this year as the effect of new federal mortgage measures fully kicks in, the Canadian Real Estate Association said Monday. Source