“I Praise Loudly, I Blame Softly” -Queen Catherine II
Markets Lower as Greece Stalls
Stock markets on both sides of the Atlantic turned lower Friday on renewed fears over a possible Greek debt default. In Toronto, the S&P/TSX composite index closed down 89.73 points at 14,741.15, with energy and financial issues among the leading decliners as benchmark oil once again fell below US$60 a barrel. The loonie, meanwhile, was off 0.22 of a U.S. cent at 81.25 cents as the American greenback strengthened.
In New York, markets gave back a big chunk of their advance over the previous two sessions, with the Dow Jones industrial average suffering a triple-digit loss, down 140 points at 17,898. The Nasdaq index fell 31 points to 5,051, while the S&P 500 finished 14 points lower at 2,094. The decline, which followed similar setbacks on most European bourses, came after an unexpected decision late Thursday by the International Monetary Fund to walk out of the debt negotiations with Greece. The announcement by the IMF, which cited lack of progress in the talks, heightened concerns that Athens may default on its debts when its 240-billion-euro bailout expires June 30. That in turn could force it out of the euro. Greece said Friday that it would present new proposals over the weekend in an attempt to breathe life into stalled talks, but confirmation didn’t come until after the close of markets in Europe. The main index in Athens suffered the most, down 5.9%, but other indexes were also sharply lower, with Germany’s DAX losing 1.2%, the CAC-40 in France off 1.4% and Britain’s FTSE 100 down 1%.
Canada Revenue Agency Warns of Scams
The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is warning taxpayers about an apparent increase in telephone scams, using increasingly aggressive tactics. There has been an increase in scams involving telephone calls where the caller claims to be from the CRA, but is not, the agency reports. These calls are fraudulent and could result in identity theft, or financial losses, it warns. “Some recent telephone scams involve threatening taxpayers or using aggressive and forceful language to scare them into paying fictitious debt to the CRA,” the agency says. In these scams, the perpetrator claiming to work for the CRA tells prospective victims that they owe taxes, and they request immediate payment by credit card, or convince the victims to purchase a prepaid credit card and to call back immediately with the information. “The taxpayer is often threatened with court charges, jail or deportation,” the CRA says. Taxpayers should be beware of these sorts of calls, the agency says, and report them to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.
The CRA never requests prepaid credit cards, never asks for information about passports, health cards, or driver’s licences, and never leaves personal information on an answering machine, or asks taxpayers to leave a message containing personal information, the agency stresses.
Market Update as of June 12 2015
The TSX closed at 14741, down -216 points or -1.44% over the past week. YTD the TSX is down -0.09%.
The DOW closed at 17899, up 49 points or 0.27% over the past week.YTD the DOW is up 0.37%.
The S&P closed at 2094, up 1 points or 0.05% over the past week.YTD the S&P is up 1.75%.
The Nasdaq closed at 5051, down -18 points or -0.36% over the past week.YTD the Nasdaq is up 6.85%.
Gold closed at 1181, up 10.00 points or 0.85% over the past week.YTD gold is up 0.77%.
Oil closed at 59.97, up 1.09 points or 1.85% over the past week.YTD oil is up 13.82%.
The USD/CAD closed at 1.231102, down -0.0123 points or -0.99% over the past week.YTD the USD/CAD is up 4.90%.
Sources: Bloomberg; Investment Executive; advisor.ca