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best reads

It’s no tea party for the oil patch Add to ...

Every day ROB Insight delivers exclusive analysis on breaking business news and market-moving events. Streetwise offers news and analysis on Bay Street and the world of finance. Insight the Market delivers up-to-the-minute insights on developing market news.

Here are our editors’ picks of some of the best reads available to Globe Unlimited subscribers this week.

Canadian producers hit by U.S. policy

There’s plenty to cheer about at the pumps if you’re an American driver. Gasoline prices are falling on the back of a glut in the U.S. oil market. A nationalistic energy policy – avidly supported by the Tea Party faction of the Republican party – prohibits the export of crude oil and growing inventories are pushing prices down, Carl Mortished says in ROB Insight. With a discount of about $30 (U.S.) a barrel on oil sands production already making for an uneven playing field, the extra supply makes the economics of the industry in Canada that much tougher.

TSX veers into danger zone

A frothy S&P/TSX composite advanced 2.3 per cent in five trading days up to Thursday, and the list over overbought stocks dwarfs the number of oversold issues. In Inside the Market, Scott Barlow says investors with a short-term time horizon might want to stay on the sidelines for a few days to see which way things are heading.

Lean(er) times for securities firms

Bonuses at securities firms have remained buoyant the past few years despite a decline in profitability, Boyd Erman writes in Streetwise. Companies have been intent on retaining workers, but that’s all changed as hiring has fallen – and payouts are set to follow.

Housing gets hot, Poloz feels heat

Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz is in an unenviable position, writes David Parkinson in ROB Insight. A sluggish economy could use the kind of shot in the arm that an interest rate cut would provide, but a reinvigorated housing market threatening to overheat again may be best chilled by an interest rate increase.

Big Six can’t be that scared of low rates

Margins have been squeezed during five years of rock-bottom interest rates, so you’d think bank profits would be taking a hit, too. Not so, explains Tim Kiladze in Streetwise, as cheap money has fuelled borrowing volumes and contributed to record results.

A bacon sandwich, hold the bread

Packaged meat giant Maple Leaf Foods has repeatedly rebuffed suitors for its Canada Bread subsidiary, but is now relenting. So what’s changed? In ROB Insight Brian Milner explains how the baker has struggled unsuccessfully to turn around the unit, one of the slower-growing food segments that has been unable to pass rising costs on to consumers.

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