By Mike Keerma
The week ended on a downbeat for major North American stock indices. The
main market gauges all lost money, as investors were rattled by a low
monthly U.S. job-creation report for February. In addition, Chinese export
reportedly fell by 20% in February, while the European Central Bank took a
decidedly more dovish tone on monetary policy, now extending its low rate
regime until 2020 from an earlier plan to commence rate hikes this year.
S&P 500 Composite Index
slumped 2.2% on the week, while the
Nasdaq Composite Index
retreated 2.5%. Toronto’s
S&P/TSX Composite Index
fared better, edging down just below breakeven on the week, as a positive
jobs report and a slight weekly increase in the price of
helped buoy investor sentiment for Canadian issues.
The U.S. Labor Department said the economy created only 22,000 new jobs in
February, bearing no resemblance at all to street estimates of around
180,000 for the month. Still, unemployment ticked down to 3.8% from 4.0% in
January, and wages grew at a 2.4% annual rate. On the other hand, Canada’s
labour market grew by 56,000 jobs, and unemployment held steady at 5.8%.
Economists generally see monthly labour market data as very volatile, and
subject to revision in following months.
* Scotia fund mergers.
1832 Asset Management L.P.
announced on March 7 that it plans to merge both its
Scotia Latin American Fund
Scotia Pacific Rim Fund
Scotia International Equity Fund. The mergers are subject to approval, and are expected to take effect
after July 12, 2019.
* Desjardins launches two new RI ETFs.
Desjardins Global Asset Management Inc.
on March 7 launched of two new exchange traded funds with responsible
investment mandates. The
Desjardins RI Emerging Markets Multifactor Low CO2 ETF
tracks the Scientific Beta Desjardins Emerging RI Low Carbon Multifactor
Desjardins RI Global Multifactor Fossil Fuel Reserves Free ETF
tracks the Scientific Beta Desjardins Global RI Fossil Fuel Reserves Free
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