TSX Finishes Slightly Down

Canada’s main stock index fell short by the close on Wednesday after the Bank of Canada raised its overnight lending rate as expected but signaled a pause in its hiking cycle and added economic growth would stall through the middle of the year.

The TSX lost 29.95 points to conclude Wednesday at 20,599.60.

The Canadian dollar let go of 0.07 cents at 74.70 cents U.S.

Industrials were looking down Wednesday, with Canadian National Railway down $7.62, or 4.6%, to $158.29, while Canadian Pacific lost $3.96, or 3.7%, to $102.98.

Energy stocks faltered, too, as Birchcliff Energy lost 35 cents, or 3.8%, to $8.86, while Peyto Exploration moved back 46 cents, or 3.4%, to $13.13.

Among utilities, Boralex backpedaled 88 cents, or 2.2%, to $38.62, while Innergex Energy docked 30 cents, or 1.9%, to $15.87.

Gold stocks tried to right the ship, as Centerra Gold gained 40 cents, or 4.8%, to … Read more

Open letter calls on Grant Shapps to boost SME credit access through improved data sharing

Codat – the universal API for small business data – and a group of lenders have written an open letter to Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Grant Shapps, calling for the government to support improved data sharing initiatives to tackle the difficulties faced by SMEs in accessing credit.

The letter has been co-signed by Atom Bank, Funding Circle, iwoca, Allica Bank, SPRK Capital, Recognise Bank, Plaid, Playter, OakNorth, Wiserfunding and TrueLayer. It has also received support from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).

Difficulty accessing funding is one of the biggest barriers to SME growth. The problem exists because the SME lending landscape is not set up for businesses or lenders to succeed. It’s too difficult for lenders to access accurate, up to date data to make informed decisions and loan applications are too complex and time-consuming for SMEs.

Stimulating growth in the SME sector – … Read more

USD / CAD – Canadian dollar dead in the water

– Risk sentiment is modestly positive ahead of US quarterly earnings reports.

– Euro area PMI data slight better than forecast.

– US dollar opens with tiny gains after dull overnight session.

USDCAD snapshot: open 1.3365-69, overnight range 1.3349-1.3383, close 1.3368, WTI $81.61, Gold $1937.97

The Canadian dollar is dead in the water. Holidays in Asia and the upcoming release of a trove of US quarterly earnings reports has sidelined traders.

Traders are awaiting tomorrows Bank of Canada monetary policy meeting.

The Bank of Canada (BoC) is expected to raise interest rates by 25 basis points, bringing the key interest rate to 4.50%. But the predictions are far from unanimous. There is a contingent that thinks the BoC will remain on hold, which if correct, would sink the Canadian dollar.

The statement accompanying the rate decision will be closely watched for any explicit signal of the end of the rate … Read more