“Those Who Fight Corruption Should Be Clean Themselves” -Vladimir Putin

 

Markets Higher On Easing Ukraine Tension

The Toronto stock market closed higher Friday as traders hoped for an easing of tensions between Russia and Ukraine. The S&P/TSX composite index was up 77.88 points to 15,196.31, after Russia’s Interfax reported that Russia had ended military exercises near the Ukraine border. The Canadian dollar dropped 0.42 of a cent to 91.15 cents US as Statistics Canada reported that the economy created a paltry 200 jobs during July. Economists had generally expected that 20,000 jobs would be created.  U.S. indexes surged on the report with the Dow industrials ahead 185.66 points to 16,553.93, the Nasdaq gained 35.93 points to 4,370.90 and the S&P 500 index edged up 22.02 points to 1,931.59.  The Russia/Ukraine standoff is the primary focus for investor worry as traders considered the odds of Russia invading its neighbor in order to prop up Ukrainian rebels. There is also concern about how sanctions and countersanctions could derail a still-fragile economic recovery in Europe. The Toronto market ended the week more or less flat, with a 19 point loss which still left the TSX up 11.56 per cent year to date. The Dow industrials ended the week with a gain of 60.56 points or 0.37 per cent.

 

Russia Bans Western Food Imports For a Year

Russia will ban fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, milk and dairy imports from the U. S., the European Union, Australia, Canada and Norway, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev told a government meeting on Thursday. The decision follows a decree signed by President Vladimir Putin ordering the government to ban or limit food imports from countries that imposed sanctions on Moscow for its support of rebels in eastern Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea.  “There is nothing good in sanctions and it wasn’t an easy decision to take, but we had to do it,” Medvedev said.  The ban is valid from Aug. 7 and will last for one year, he said. Canada’s agricultural exports to Russia totalled $428 million in 2013 according to Statistics Canada. Canadian pork producers make up most of that at exports of $260 million. Canada’s worldwide pork exports total $3.2 billion.

 

Sources: Bloomberg; Investment Executive; advisor.ca