These are stories Report on Business is following Tuesday, March 4, 2014.
Markets spring back
Global markets are rallying today, but analysts warn investors not to be “naive” when it comes to the Ukrainian powder keg.
As our European correspondent Eric Reguly reports, stocks in Europe rebounded, and oil prices retreated, as Russian President Vladimir Putin raised hopes that the crisis is easing.
Separately, U.S. news groups reported, the United States offered loan guarantees to Ukraine of $1-billion (U.S.).
Market watchers say it’s just too early to tell.
“Live images across a number of news channels this morning have shown a furious showdown between Russian and Ukrainian soldiers in Crimea, with guns purposely pointed at opposing numbers while screaming at them to stand down,” said Toby Morris, senior sales trader at CMC Markets in London.
“This is no training drill, and politicians can paint a calmer picture to their hearts content, but we are still only one slip of a trigger away from a potential war, which is making today’s move look a bit naive to say the least,” he warned in a research note.
“One thing is for sure, the rest of the week won’t be for the faint hearted, and investors will likely have to sift their way through waves of breaking news and rumours that will guide the markets for the next few days.”
Mr. Morris is not alone, and there are several factors to consider here.
“No, of course it’s not ‘all over,’” said Kit Juckes, the chief of foreign exchange at Société Générale.
“The economic fallout, notably in Russia, will be significant, and building political stability in the Ukraine remains a huge challenge,” Mr. Juckes said.
“But financial markets are short-sighted animals and everything is calmer.”
For now, investors are in a buoyant mood.
Tokyo’s Nikkei gained 0.5 per cent, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng 0.7 per cent.
In Europe, London’s FTSE 100, Germany’s DAX and the Paris CAC 40 were up by between 1.5 per cent and 2.4 per cent as North American markets were opening.
The S&P 500, Dow Jones industrial average and Toronto's S&P/TSX composite also rallied.
- Follow our Inside the Market blog (for subscribers)
- Eric Reguly: World markets bounce back on hopes Ukraine tensions will ease
- Scott Barlow in ROB Insight (for subscribers): Russian aggression belies a struggling economy
- Eric Reguly: Russia's Putin holds a pipeline trump card over struggling Ukraine
- Tavia Grant: A tale of two economies: Russia vs. Ukraine
- Follow our coverage
Enbridge to overhaul line
Enbridge Inc. plans to spend $7-billion overhauling a major pipeline from Alberta to Wisconsin, a project it calls the biggest in its history.
Enbridge announced late yesterday that the Line 3 replacement project will be done by the second half of 2017, and that it has the support of shippers for a surcharge, The Globe and Mail's Jeffrey Jones reports.
The project calls for new pipe “using the latest available high-strength steel and coating technology,” and will complement work already under way on the route.
The work, said chief executive officer Al Monaco, “will service to significantly extend our industry-leading earnings per share growth rate well beyond 2017.”
The company is providing more details this morning on a conference call with analysts.
Canada has seen its first major pension “buyout” with an unidentified company purchasing about $500-million of annuities from an insurer to outsource the long-term funding obligation for its pension plan, The Globe and Mail's Janet McFarland reports.
Pension consulting firm Towers Watson revealed the transaction today, Canada’s first “jumbo” pension buyout occurred in the fourth quarter of 2013 and involved one of its clients.
In a pension buyout, an insurer essentially takes over the risk of funding a firm’s pension payments, typically by selling the firm annuities with guaranteed payout rates to match the pension payments. The company still has ultimate responsibility for the pension plan and remains the pension plan’s sponsor, and the deal does not affect the level of benefits owed or paid to retirees.
Scotiabank hikes dividend
Bank of Nova Scotia is the latest of Canada’s big banks to boost its dividend as it reports solid first-quarter results.
As The Globe and Mail’s Tim Kiladze reports, the last of the banks to report earnings hiked its quarterly dividend by 2 cents to 64 cents.
Scotiabank’s first-quarter profit rose to $1.7-billion or $1.32 a share.
The per-share profit amounts to $1.34 when one-time items are stripped out, in line with the estimates of analysts.
A bit shy? Here are the 10 best jobs for introverts
If you’re the type of person who takes to shouting across the office or otherwise thrives on being the centre of attention, these job categories aren’t for you.
But if you’re the type who could never be that other type, read on.
CareerCast today published a list of the 10 best jobs for introverts, and what they earn, based on U.S. government statistics.
It’s an American study. But the chances are pretty good that if you’re shy in the United States, you’re not going to be suddenly outgoing in Canada.
The CareerCast list for the shy:
Animal care and service worker, annual earnings between $19,970 (U.S.) and $25,270.
Court reporter, $48,160.
Film/video editor, $51,300.
Financial clerk, $36,850.
Industrial machine repairer, $46,920.
Medical records technician, $34,160.
Social media manager, $54.170.
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