Archive for January, 2019

Canadian dollar lower on Ukraine tensions – National

TORONTO – The Canadian dollar closed slightly lower Monday even as traders flocked to the perceived safe haven of the American dollar after Russia occupied Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula.

The resource-sensitive loonie was off 0.08 of a cent to 90.22 cents US with losses limited by sharp run-ups in oil and gold prices.

Russia calls the move into Crimea a necessary protection for the country’s citizens living there. There are worries that Russia might seek to expand its control by seizing other parts of eastern Ukraine.

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  • Gap between U.S., Canada retail prices may ‘widen once again’

“Risk appetite is extremely muted as we begin the start of a new week, largely predicated on continued tensions in Ukraine,” said Mark Chandler, head of Canadian FIC Strategy at RBC Dominion Securities.

Oil prices spiked more than $2 a barrel as Russia’s military advance into Ukraine raised fears of economic sanctions against a country that is one of the world’s major energy producers.

The April contract in New York jumped $2.33 to US$104.92 a barrel.

Traders seeking safety also pushed April gold bullion up $28.70 to US$1,350.30 an ounce.

May copper lost two cents to US$3.17 a pound. Prices for the metal were also pressured by Chinese data as both the official and HSBC versions of the country’s monthly manufacturing survey showed the sector was weaker last month than in January.

The HSBC purchasing managers index fell to 48.5 from 49.5, but was above the preliminary version from last month. The official gauge dipped to an eight-month low of 50.2 for February, off from January’s 50.5.

On the economic front, U.S. consumer spending rose 0.4 per cent in January following a tiny 0.1 per cent gain in December. Income grew 0.3 per cent in January following no increase at all in December.

And the Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing index showed greater expansion in the sector, rising to 53.2 in February from 51.3 in January.

The major event for the loonie this week is the Bank of Canada’s latest interest rate announcement on Wednesday. The bank is widely expected to hold off on raising its key rate from one per cent until early next year.

February employment data for Canada and the U.S. will be released on Friday. Canadian job growth is expected at around 19,000 jobs.

U.S. employment gains are expected to come in around 150,000 with results impacted by severe winter weather for a second month in a row.

UPDATE: IHIT takes over case of missing Langley teen; foul play suspected – BC

WATCH ABOVE: The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team believe foul play is now suspected in the disappearance of Nicholas Hannon. Rumina Daya reports.

UPDATE: The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) announced this afternoon they will be taking over the case of missing 19-year-old Nicholas Hannon. IHIT will be investigating the missing teen because foul play is suspected and it is believed he is dead. 

IHIT says in mid-April there was enough evidence to support the theory that Hannon met with foul play.

He would have been 20 years old in just a few days.

IHIT says the know there are people in the community who know what happened to Hannon.

“Whether it is a change in lifestyle that brings you forward or the guilt of watching this family suffering from the loss of Nicholas, we are urging the individuals that have information to do the right thing and contact Police, ” says Staff Sergeant Jennifer Pound.

(Photos of Nicholas growing up)

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If you have information call the IHIT tipline at 1-877-551-4448, or, if you wish to remain anonymous call Crimstoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

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A Langley family is offering a $10,000 reward for any information leading to the whereabouts of their 19-year-old son, who has been missing for nearly a week.

A Search and Rescue team from Central Fraser Valley Search and Rescue fanned out across Derby Reach Park on Sunday looking for any sign of Nicholas Hannon.

Police say there has been no sign of the teen since he last spoke with his father on Tuesday. Nicholas’ vehicle was found abandoned on Thursday at a dead end of McKinnon Crescent in Langley. The doors were locked, with GPS and the stereo system still inside. There’s also been no activity on his phone or bank account since he went missing.

Nicholas Hannon’s father Craig says his son’s disappearance is very out of character, but his gut feeling is telling him something went wrong.

“Somebody has done something to him,” he said, choking back tears. “Somebody’s got him for whatever reason, and they are hurting him.”

Forty volunteers came out to help with the search last night. The RCMP called out another search today, saying the physical search of the area has been already completed.

Hannon is described as Caucasian, 5’9″, with a slim build and very short dark brown hair.

If anyone has any information about Nicholas’ whereabouts, contact the Langley RCMP at 604-532-3200.

Watch: Missing teen’s father appeals for information

©2014Shaw Media

Golds limit TSX losses amid Ukraine tensions – National

TORONTO – The Toronto stock market closed little changed Monday, one of the few global markets to avoid racking up sharp losses in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula.

The S&P/TSX composite index edged 3.15 points higher to 14,212.74 with any TSX losses held in check by energy and gold stocks, which rose alongside oil and bullion prices as traders generally avoided riskier assets such as equities and base metals.

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  • Canada considering options with Russian ambassador as Ukraine crisis continues

Gains in oil and gold also helped support the Canadian dollar, which was faring better than some other currencies. The loonie declined 0.08 of a cent to 90.22 cents US.

Investors sought the perceived safe haven of U.S. dollars and Treasuries after Russia took effective control of the Crimean peninsula, calling it a necessary protection for citizens living there. There are worries that Russia might seek to expand its control by seizing other parts of eastern Ukraine.

U.S. indexes tumbled as traders weighed the potential economic consequences of Russia’s move and the effect of possible sanctions.

“It’s a surprise. I don’t think we’ve had this level of political events impact the markets in some time,” said Patrick Blais, managing director and portfolio manager at Manulife Asset Management.

The Dow Jones industrials dropped 153.68 points to 16,168.03, the Nasdaq gave back 30.82 points to 4,277.3 and the S&P 500 index fell 13.72 points to 1,845.73.

European stocks also tumbled with Frankfurt’s DAX falling three per cent and the Paris CAC 40 down 2.66 per cent. Russia’s benchmark stock index plunged 12 per cent.

The gold sector led TSX advancers, up about 1.65 per cent as traders seeking safety pushed April bullion up $28.70 to US$1,350.30 an ounce.

“Gold is a sentiment-driven market and the (gold) equities as well,” observed Blais.

“And with news of this sort, gold names could have a pretty good run. The backdrop is definitely supportive. With the uncertainty I think they’ll keep moving higher.”

The energy sector rose 0.23 per cent with oil prices spiking more than $2 as Russia’s military advance into Ukraine raised fears of economic sanctions against a country that is one of the world’s major energy producers. The April contract in New York jumped $2.33 to US$104.92 a barrel.

Pengrowth Energy Corp. (TSX:PGF) had an $91.1-million net loss, equivalent to 17 cents per share, in the fourth quarter. Analysts had expected a net loss of three cents a share and its stock slipped 45 cents to $7.01.

The TSX was also supported by a strong earnings report from auto parts giant Magna International (TSX:MG). Its quarterly net earnings rose 31 per cent from a year ago to US$458 million or $2.03 a share as sales jumped 14 per cent to US$9.17 billion. The company also raised its quarterly dividend by 19 per cent to 38 cents per share and Magna shares gained $5.18 to $103.75.

The base metals component was down 2.57 per cent as May copper lost two cents to US$3.17 a pound. Prices for the metal were also pressured by Chinese data as both the official and HSBC versions of the country’s monthly manufacturing survey showed the sector was weaker last month than in January.

Madi Vanstone pleads with Wynne to cover cystic fibrosis drugs – Toronto

ABOVE: 12-year-old Madi Vanstone talks about what she said to Kathleen Wynne during their meeting – and what the Premier told her in return. Cindy Pom reports. 

TORONTO – A 12-year-old girl with a rare form of cystic fibrosis pleaded for the Ontario government to pay for an expensive drug to treat her disease.

Premier Kathleen Wynne met with 12-year-old Madi Vanstone Monday, as the girl fights for payments to help cover the very expensive annual treatment for her condition.

Vanstone and 60 classmates took a bus to Queen’s Park to ask the government to help pay for the coverage.

The drug, Kalydeco, costs $350,000 a year and her father’s health insurance only covers half. Vanstone said the doses she’s had so far has improved her life “significantly.”

“I didn’t have any energy, I had headaches all the time, bellyaches,” she said. “And now, that’s just gone.”

WATCH: Madi, her mother Beth, and MPP Jim Wilson held a press conference ahead of their meeting Monday with Kathleen Wynne

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Meanwhile, the drug company pays 20 per cent, leaving Madi’s family with a monthly bill of $6,000.

Thus far, donations from the community are helping to pay for her treatments.

Her mother Beth says she’s appealed to the government to pay for the drug, but was told that it’s not available because they’re negotiating the price. She urged Wynne to speed things up.

“There are people who are getting sicker and sicker,” she said. “The wheels have been spinning and we’re not going anywhere.”

Watch: Why does Queen’s Park fund some drugs and not others? Alan Carter reports. 

Beth says the price of the drug has been negotiated in 15 other countries, but Ontario has been negotiating the price for more than a year. Wynne said Monday that there is “no question” her government wants to fund the drug but is being hampered by ongoing negotiations.

“Of course we don’t put a price on a human being’s life,” Wynne said in the legislature.

The price of Kalydeco has been negotiated in the following countries: United States, England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Austria, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Greece.

-with a file from The Canadian Press

A star-studded selfie, pizza and Liza: 5 memorable moments from the Oscars

WATCH: Selfies and pizza made for some memorable moments at Sunday’s Oscars

TORONTO — Couldn’t stay up late for the three-and-a-half-hour 86th Academy Awards on Sunday night?

Here are some highs and lows from Hollywood’s big night:

Liza dissed… but keeps her Oscar

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Liza Minnelli appeared slightly put off when Oscar host Ellen DeGeneres called her “one of the most amazing Liza Minnelli impersonators I’ve ever seen in my entire life.” DeGeneres added: “Good job, sir.” But Minnelli seemed moved by Pink’s powerhouse performance of “Over the Rainbow,” a song made famous by Minnelli’s mother Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz.

Minnelli also got to keep the Best Actress Oscar she won in 1973 for Cabaret. In January, she promised Matthew McConaughey: “Honey, if you don’t win the Academy Award, I’m giving you mine.” McConaughey won.

Travolta renames Idina Menzel

John Travolta raised eyebrows and set off a social media storm when he read a glowing introduction to performer Idina Menzel — but called her “the one and only Adele Dazim.” If she was taken aback, she didn’t let it show as she went right into a rendition of “Let It Go” from Frozen.

Icon-ic moments

Surgically-enhanced Vertigo star Kim Novak, 81, presented an award with Matthew McConaughey, who used his hand on her back to focus her attention and move her closer to the microphone. Later, 72-year-old singer Darlene Love took the spotlight from the producers of the documentary 20 Feet From Stardom to belt out part of a song. It earned her a standing ovation. Also getting the audience to its feet was Bette Midler, 68, who sang her 1989 hit “Wind Beneath My Wings” following the In Memoriam tribute.

Selfie power

Oscar host Ellen DeGeneres posted a star-packed selfie and challenged the audience to break the record for the most retweets. The record was broken — and 桑拿会所, too. DeGeneres came on stage later to announce the social media tool briefly went down. The selfie was epic, though. Taken by Bradley Cooper, it included stars like Julia Roberts, Brad Pitt, Channing Tatum, Meryl Streep, Jennifer Lawrence and Kevin Spacey.

At one point in the Oscar show, Ellen DeGeneres and a delivery guy from Big Mama’s & Papa’s Pizzeria walked through the audience offering slices to the stars. Those who took some pizza included Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep, Dax Shepard, Brad Pitt, Jennifer Lawrence, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Harrison Ford and Channing Tatum. Leonardo DiCaprio declined. Later in the show, DeGeneres passed the hat — Pharrell Williams’ hat, of course — to collect money for the pizza.

©2014Shaw Media

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