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A roundup of what The Globe and Mail’s market strategist Scott Barlow is reading today on the Web

An apparent attack on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman is the big market story this morning, but there aren’t yet sufficient details to know what’s or who is responsible.

Oil is trading more than four per cent higher to US$53.40 per barrel at time of writing,

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“Oil prices jumped as much as 4% on Thursday after a suspected attack on two tankers in the Gulf of Oman near Iran and the Strait of Hormuz, through which a fifth of global oil consumption passes… The charterer of [one vessel] said the vessel was “suspected of being hit by a torpedo”.”

“Oil prices surge after suspected tanker attack near Iran” – Reuters

“Regardless of whether Iran is responsible for damage to vessels in the Sea of Oman, it will still get the blame -- and suffer the fallout” – Bloomberg

“It’s worth asking who benefits from the attacks on oil tankers in the Sea of Oman” – Bloomberg

Just before the incidents in the Middle East, OPEC announced a reduction in global oil demand,

“OPEC cuts 2019 oil demand growth forecast, sees more downside risk” – Report on Business

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Merrill Lynch economists slashed their forecasts for Canadian GDP growth in a report released Wednesday,

“We lowered our GDP growth forecasts for Canada when we cut our global forecasts. We lowered our Canadian GDP growth expectations to 1.3% from 1.5% for 2019 and to 1.3% from 1.8% for 2020. We remain optimistic on economic activity recovering from the lows at the end of 2018 as household expenditure remains supported by a strong labor market and a gradually bottoming housing market. However, we revised down investment growth and net exports for 2H 2019 and 2020 out of concerns of falling oil prices, weakening business confidence and global trade uncertainty. We still expect the Bank of Canada (BoC) to maintain the overnight rate target on hold this year, but we now expect it to cut 25bp in early 2020 “

“@SBarlow_ROB ML cuts Canadian GDP forecasts. By a lot” – (research excerpt) Twitter

“ Majority of Canada’s exporters see global recession, EDC finds” – BNN Bloomberg

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A new study by the World Economic Forum provided retirees with reason for concern – the average Canadian will outlive their savings by about 10 years,

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From the U.S. to Europe, Australia and Japan, retirement account balances aren’t increasing fast enough to cover rising life expectancy, the World Economic Forum warns ...

In the U.S., the forum calculates that 65-year-olds have enough savings to cover just 9.7 years of retirement income. That leaves the average American man with a gap of 8.3 years. Women, who live longer, face a 10.9-year gap. The retirement savings gap is about 10 years for men in the U.K., Australia, Canada, and the Netherlands, the forum says.”

“Retirees risk running out of money a decade before death” – BNN Bloomberg

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Tweet of the Day:

Diversion: “Bill Murray Will Always Be Bill Murray, for Better and Worse” – The Ringer

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Newsletter: “The current discussion of growth versus value seems to miss the point” – Globe Investor

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