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UEFA Champions League Real Madrid Achieves 3rd Consecutive Final

Rabat – Real Madrid has secured a pass to the Champions League final for the third consecutive time over Bayern Munich, after a 2-2 draw match with the visitors losing 4-3 on aggregate.After the referee’s whistle, the Bavarians scored an early goal in the second minute of the game, thanks to Muller’s cross into the box, netted by Kimmich.Eight minutes later, Real Madrid made a quick comeback with a surprisingly, simple header by Benzema, crossed by Marcelo from the left. Despite Madrid’s burst of strength, Bayern continued to dominate for the remainder half.Just seconds before the end of the first halftime, a cross from Kimmich struck the left arm of Marcelo inside the penalty zone. However, the referee waved away Bayern’s claim to a penalty, a fact that Marcelo later admitted.He told reporters, “It’s a hand–it hits me in the hand, and it’s a penalty. If I say it does not hit me, I’m lying, but football is like that.“I do not talk about the referees, but it is clear that sometimes it is wrong in our favor and other times against. No matter what happens, you have to play football.”Despite the Germans’ effort to shake their rivals’ net, Benzema exploited the goalkeeper’s fault just a few seconds after the second half-time to score the second goal for Real Madrid.With determination and team spirit, the former Real Madrid player, James Rodriguez, evened out the score, followed up an initial kick to net his own rebound, 62 minutes into play.The German club was determined to pull out a win, but Zidane have managed to keep the score in Real Madrid’s favor.This match was marked by the Benzema comeback, who apparently went quiet this season, but Zidane, Ronaldo, and the rest of the team did not stop believing in his skills, as Marcelo told the press: “It is clear that he had to arrive, Karim is a great player and he does not need to score goals every day to show what he is worth.”In April, Ronaldo agreed, “As long as I’m with Real Madrid, you [Benzema] will have your place secured.”Despite Real Madrid President Florentino Perez’s anger over keeping Benzema as an attacker, Ronaldo and Zidane have reminded Perez of Benzema’s ability to achieve his goals, in addition to his importance among the players.Zinedine Zidane has repeatedly proven that he is good at what he does; he was right in sticking with his current team and working through obstacles to achieve better results.Will Zidane leave his mark on history and lead Real Madrid to its 12th Champions League title, the third in a row? read more

Moroccos Hamza Mendyl Denied UK Work Permit to Play with Arsenal

Rabat – Moroccan footballer Hamza Mendyl has said difficulty getting a work permit as a Moroccan prevented him from playing for Arsenal or Newcastle.The Moroccan-Ivorian footballer, who signed for Schalke 04 last week, said that he was in negotiations with Arsenal this summer before signing with the German football team.Quoted by major sports outlets, the 20-year-old said that difficulty getting a work permit prevented him from joining England’s Arsenal. ESPN also said that the footballer was denied a work permit from Arsenal.“It is true: I was in talks Arsenal and Newcastle. But as a Moroccan citizen it’s not that easy to obtain a work permit. I would have trusted myself to play Premier League,” Mendyl said.Mendyl has joined his fellow Moroccan Amine Harit, who also plays for both Morocco’s national team and Schalke 04.Both Moroccans made the list of the team who participated in the 2018 World Cup.Mendyl expressed his joy over joining the German team.“I’m delighted to have signed for such a big club. With Domenico Tedesco, I’ve got a coach who is renowned for improving players,” the player was quoted by his club.Mendyl also expressed his ambition to grow as a footballer, saying: “I want to keep developing and play an important role in all three campaigns for Schalke 04 this season.”Born in Casablanca to a Moroccan mother and an Ivorian father, Mendyl has made senior debut for the Moroccan national team in a 2-0 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier win over Sao Tome. He has also represented Morocco’s Under 19 and Under 20 teams. Before joining Schalke 04, the footballer played as a left-back for French League 1 side Lille.  The footballer said in 2017 that his father “would have liked me to play for Ivory Coast, but he respects my choice,” reported French sports outlet, France Football.The young footballer explained his choice by saying that he was born and raised in Morocco. “For me, it was always clear in my head, I wanted to play and defend my Moroccan jersey.” read more

Manulife highly confident ahead of hedge fund case verdict CEO

TORONTO — The chief executive of Manulife Financial Corp. says the insurer is “highly confident” it will prevail in its legal battle with hedge fund Mosten Investment LP over insurance contracts.Roy Gori told a conference call discussing its latest quarterly results today that he’s not sure when a decision will be rendered in the case brought against Manulife’s life insurance subsidiary, but the company is “prepared to see this through.”The trial involving one of Manulife’s insurance contracts purchased by Mosten wrapped up last year.Mosten has argued that under the terms of the universal life insurance policy, it can deposit an unlimited amount of money and receive an annualized guaranteed return of at least four per cent with one-month liquidity.Prominent short-seller Muddy Waters has said if the court sides with Mosten, the hedge fund could sell an unlimited amount of partnership interests backed by Manulife and “financially cripple” the insurer.Manulife has argued that issuers of universal life policies never intended to have them function as deposit or securities contracts, and it disagrees with the short-seller’s conclusions. The Canadian Press Companies in this story: (TSX:MFC) read more

Most actively traded companies on the TSX

The Canadian Press Some of the most active companies traded Monday on the Toronto Stock Exchange:Toronto Stock Exchange (16,065.86, down 23.47 points).Aurora Cannabis Inc. (TSX:ACB). Health care. Up 27 cents, or 2.23 per cent, to $12.37 on 23.3 million shares.Bombardier Inc. (TSX:BBD.B). Industrials. Unchanged at $2.72 on 7 million shares.Barrick Gold Corp. (TSX:ABX). Materials. Up 77 cents, or 4.19 per cent, to $19.13 on 6.4 million shares.Encana Corp. (TSX:ECA). Energy. Down 16 cents, or 1.7 per cent, to $9.27 on 6.1 million shares.Bank of Nova Scotia (TSX:BNS). Financials. Down 60 cents, or 0.84 per cent, to $70.79 on 6.1 million shares.Wallbridge Mining Co. Ltd. (TSX:WM). Materials. Up 3.5 cents, or 12.96 per cent, to 30.5 cents on 5.3 million shares.Companies reporting:Gluskin Sheff + Associates Inc. (TSX:GS). Up $3.28 or 29.4 per cent to $14.45. Shares of Gluskin Sheff + Associates soared nearly 30 per cent after the company signed a deal to be acquired by private equity firm Onex Corp. worth $445 million. Onex announced its friendly offer for Gluskin Sheff of $14.25 per share after the close of markets on Friday. Under the agreement, Gluskin Sheff will continue to be led by its existing leadership team and operate under its brand.Precision Drilling Corp. (TSX:PD). Down four cents to $3.22. Analysts say Canadian oilfield services companies with operations in the U.S. are now earning more of their revenue south of the border than they have for at least six years. In a report, AltaCorp Capital says that trend is expected to continue as ongoing oil and gas spending weakness in Canada is balanced against steady activity in the United States. The analysts say that 12 of the largest Canadian energy services companies with U.S. operations earned 54 per cent of their revenue in the U.S. in 2018, the first time the percentage climbed above half since at least 2013, when it was just over 40 per cent.Goldcorp Inc. (TSX:G). Up 39 cents or 2.7 per cent to $14.90. Newmont Mining Corp. is offering a special dividend to its shareholders if its friendly takeover of Goldcorp Inc. wins shareholder approval. The gold miner will make a one-time payment of 88 cents per share, conditional on the approval of the deal by both Newmont’s and Goldcorp’s shareholders. The proposed special dividend would be paid on May 1 to Newmont shareholders of record as of April 17, which is prior to closing of the proposed Newmont Goldcorp combination. Newmont shareholders vote on April 11, while Goldcorp shareholders vote April 4.Emera Inc. (TSX:EMA). Up 58 cents to $50.56. Emera Inc. has signed a deal to sell its operations in Maine to Enmax Corp. in a deal valued at $1.8 billion, including debt. Emera Maine is headquartered in Bangor and serves 159,000 customers in the northern part of the state. Under the deal, Enmax will pay US$1.29 billion plus assume roughly $500 million in debt. TransAlta Corp. (TSX:TA). Up 35 cents or 3.85 per cent to $9.43. TransAlta Corp. says Brookfield Renewable Partners and its institutional partners have signed a $750-million deal to invest in the company’s hydro assets. Brookfield will acquire exchangeable securities, which will be convertible into an equity ownership interest in TransAlta’s Alberta hydro assets. Brookfield will also purchase TransAlta common shares on the open market to increase its share ownership stake to nine per cent. read more

US stocks move broadly higher as earnings reports flow in

NEW YORK — Stocks moved broadly higher in early trading Tuesday as companies started to report their latest financial results in force.Big names including Hasbro, Lockheed Martin and Twitter all surprised Wall Street with strong profit and revenue. Analysts are watching corporate reports closely this week as they gauge whether first quarter earnings for U.S. companies will be as bad as predicted. Wall Street has been predicting a contraction during the quarter.Technology companies led the gains after software maker Cadence Design Systems beat Wall Street’s forecasts and gave investors a better outlook for the year. Cadence rose 4.6% and Qualcomm rose 1.9%.Consumer product companies followed Hasbro higher. Industrial stocks all gained ground as Lockheed Martin and United Technologies surprised investors with solid earnings reports.Energy companies continued riding a rising wave of oil prices, which are up 45% for the year. The latest increases are being pushed by the U.S. government’s decision to further block Iranian oil exports, which could cut the global supply of oil. The sector was still broadly higher, with Halliburton rising 1.6% and Phillips 66 up 0.7%.KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index rose 0.2% as of 10 a.m. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.1%, or 39 points, to 26,549. The Nasdaq composite index rose 0.4%.BUZZING PROFIT: Hasbro surged 13.9% after the toy company reported strong growth in its various franchises, which include Transformers toys, which benefited from the hit movie “Bumblebee” and “Magic: The Gathering Arena.” The turnaround comes as Hasbro and other toy makers recover from the bankruptcy of Toys R Us.BUBBLING SALES: Coca-Cola surprised Wall Street with its beverage sales during the first quarter after it previously warned of slower growth this year.The stock rose 2.6% after the world’s largest beverage maker reported growth in revenue and profit that beat forecasts on sales of its signature soft drink, along with sports drinks and water.The growth warning in February triggered the stock’s worst sell-off in more than a decade.TWEET STORM: Twitter surged 12.9% after surprising Wall Street by adding more users than analysts had expected during the first quarter. All those additional thumbs texting away brought in more advertising sales and pushed revenue 18% higher.The company beat forecasts for gains in both monthly and daily users.There were some disappointing aspects to its quarterly report. Profit, which included a hefty tax benefit, fell short of forecasts. Looking ahead, the revenue forecast for the current quarter is mostly shy of what Wall Street expects.LOCKHEED DELIVERS: The aerospace and defence company rose 5.8% after raising its forecast for the year on a solid outlook for jet and arms production. Profit and revenue results for the most recent quarter also beat analysts’ forecasts.The company cited its F-35 fighter jet program as a key factor in its record backlog. Missiles and sales of other arms surged during the quarter.Damian J. Troise, The Associated Press read more

Materials sector helps lift Toronto stocks loonie up against US dollar

The Canadian Press TORONTO — The materials stocks helped lift Canada’s main stock index, helped by strength in the gold sector, as U.S. stock markets were mixed.The S&P/TSX composite index was up 17.95 points at 16,055.44.In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 41.75 points at 24,856.79. The S&P 500 index was up 1.82 points at 2,753.88, while the Nasdaq composite was down 39.30 points at 7,413.85.The Canadian dollar traded for 74.20 cents US compared with an average of 73.93 cents US on Friday.The July crude contract was up 37 cents at US$53.87 per barrel and the July natural gas contract was down 4.8 cents at US$2.41 per mmBTU.The August gold contract was up US$12.90 at US$1,324.00 an ounce and the July copper contract was up 1.35 cents at US$2.65 a pound. Companies in this story: (TSX:GSPTSE, TSX:CADUSD=X) read more

Increasing number of Afghan children caught in crossfire – UN official

19 June 2007Concerned about the increasing number of children killed in Afghanistan, the United Nations envoy for children and armed conflict today urged all sides to take the necessary steps to protect the country’s young people amid the worsening security situation. “Children are caught in the crossfire and the number of victims is escalating,” stated Radhika Coomaraswamy, the UN Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict.Anti-Government forces killed 11 children during a suicide attack against members of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) on 15 June in Uruzgan province. In addition, they have been targeting schools, including the 12 June attack outside a girls’ school near Kabul that left two students dead and several injured.“The anti-Government forces are also suspected of using children as human shields,” added Ms. Coomaraswamy.She also expressed concern over reports that international coalition forces accidentally killed seven Afghan children in an air strike in Paktika province. Yesterday, the Secretary-General’s Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan, Chris Alexander, denounced the recent wave of terrorism in Afghanistan, citing in particular the devastation wrought by the attack on schoolchildren. “Those responsible for these attacks – those who have killed hundreds of Afghan civilians this year in cold blood – are committing brutal crimes. These are crimes against the holy religion of Islam; they are crimes against humanity,” he said. read more

UN agriculture fund announces 87 million programme for support Lesotho

7 November 2007The United Nations International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) today announced the launch of an $8.7 million programme aimed at helping some 37,000 poor rural people in Lesotho have better access to financial services. The United Nations International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) today announced the launch of an $8.7 million programme aimed at helping some 37,000 poor rural people in Lesotho have better access to financial services.The effort aims to enable beneficiaries to invest in on-farm or off-farm microenterprises and build their financial and household assets, IFAD said in a news release.The $10.7 million Rural Financial Intermediation Programme is supported by a $4.35 million loan and $4.35 million grant from IFAD. “This new programme will help poor rural people access financial services that respond to their specific needs,” said Fumiko Nakai, IFAD’s country programme manager for Lesotho.“Poor people who are capable of engaging in income-generating activities will have better access to capital for investment,” she said. “And very poor people with meagre incomes will also benefit because they, too, will be able to gradually accumulate savings and have places in which to safely deposit those savings.”“The programme will help formal and informal financial institutions develop a range of financial services, including money transfer and insurance services.”The Fund has supported agricultural and rural development in Lesotho since 1980 by investing in seven programmes and projects to reduce poverty in the country’s rural areas. With the new initiative, IFAD’s support to Lesotho now totals over $50 million. read more

New residency law will benefit longterm refugees in Panama says UN agency

The new law will give recognized refugees who have been in Panama for more than 10 years the right to apply for permanent residency. After five years of permanent residence, they will be able to apply for Panamanian nationality.UNHCR spokesperson Jennifer Pagonis said the agency welcomes this new development, “which offers long-term refugees an opportunity to settle fully in Panama.”Most of the refugees in Panama fled conflicts in Nicaragua and El Salvador during the 1980s. Until now, they had been living under a temporary status, which made it difficult for them to buy a house, open a bank account or get stable employment.Bill 298 on the regularization of long-standing refugees in Panama was passed by the National Assembly last week. It will come into effect six months after it is signed by the President, which is expected to happen in the coming weeks. The new regulations will apply only to those refugees who were granted status 10 years or more before the law came into force. “UNHCR is advocating for other refugees to be provided with the long-term opportunity to find durable solutions in Panama,” Ms. Pagonis said.In addition to those from Central America, Panama also hosts refugees from neighbouring Colombia. There is a total of nearly 1,000 refugees in Panama and another 900 people who live in the most remote and isolated regions of the country under a system known as Temporary Humanitarian Regime, according to UNHCR. 1 April 2008The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has welcomed a new law in Panama that will allow many refugees, some of whom arrived in the country over 25 years ago, to apply for permanent residency. read more

Ban pledges to work with Pope on justice peace equality

“As Secretary-General of the United Nations, I represent a secular institution, composed of 192 States, with six official languages but no official religion,” Mr. Ban told a symposium convened yesterday in New York to commemorate the occasion. “Yet His Holiness and I share many common values, above all a belief in the inherent dignity and equal rights of every human being,” he said.The two, he said, also share a commitment to the fight against poverty and inequality; to conflict prevention and the responsibility to protect; to efforts to stop the spread of nuclear weapons; and to human rights, justice and the rule of law. “This forms a broad basis for joint advocacy and cooperation,” Mr. Ban saidIn his half-hour speech to the Assembly on 18 April 2008, delivered in English and French, Pope Benedict stressed the UN’s central role in seeking a better world. He also highlighted the need to protect human rights, ensure development and security and reduce local and global inequalities.The Pope called the UN the embodiment of aspirations for a “greater degree of international ordering” in response to the needs of the human family. 17 April 2009Marking the anniversary of Pope Benedict’s address to the General Assembly, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon pledged to continue work with the head of the Catholic Church to build “a world of lasting justice and peace.” read more

UN agency sounds alarm on mounting hunger in Chad

Although there are signs of improvement in Niger, which is in the midst of a severe food crisis, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) warned that child malnutrition rates are alarmingly high in neighbouring Chad.“We’ve seen the positive impact of timely, well-coordinated food and nutrition assistance delivered in partnership with the Government in Niger,” where almost half of the 15-million strong population are hungry, said WFP Executive Director Josette Sheeran.But in Chad, which experienced a long and crippling lean season, “children are weak and need to continue receiving food and nutritional support,” she stressed.Weak and erratic rainfall across the eastern Sahel destroyed much of last year’s harvest, also drying up watering holes for cattle.To respond to the situation, WFP rolled out emergency food assistance operations in Niger and Chad to meet children’s nutritional needs and to keep families fed through the lean season, when food is in short supply and prices are on the upswing.Manuel Aranda da Silva, the agency’s Emergency Coordinator for the Eastern Sahel, said that in some parts of Niger, prices are starting to fall in local markets and malnutrition rates among the very young are stabilizing.Mr. Aranda da Silva, who has just wrapped up a fact-finding mission to Niger and Chad, said that hunger rates remain high among Chadian children. Global acute malnutrition rates in Chad for children under the age of two are as high as 26 per cent in places, far exceeding the 15 per cent emergency threshold.That figure is nearly 4 per cent above the international definition for an emergency situation.WFP, he said, must maintain its operation for at least the next three months, as well as begin tackling some of the structural causes of malnutrition and food insecurity to bolster resilience to recurrent droughts.“The health system in Chad does not cover all areas, and there are fewer non-governmental organizations to support WFP’s food distributions,” he noted, emphasizing that even though harvest time is approaching, it is dangerous to scale back nutritional support for Chadian children. 16 September 2010Although there are signs of improvement in Niger, which is in the midst of a severe food crisis, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) warned that child malnutrition rates are alarmingly high in neighbouring Chad. read more

Darfur mediation team voices commitment to peace negotiations

31 December 2010Members of the Darfur mediation team, including the United Nations, the African Union and Qatar, today stated their continued commitment to negotiations aimed at achieving peace in the strife-torn Sudanese region. In September a committee involving members of the mediation team produced a preliminary draft peace document aimed at ending the bloody conflict in Darfur in which some 300,000 have been killed and 2.7 million other driven from their homes in the past seven years. In a statement issued today in the Qatari capital, Doha, where talks have been continuing, the team called on all parties to continue to cooperate towards finalizing the peace document.“The Mediation remains committed to the continuation of all tracks with the aim of achieving the desired goal of producing a peace document that will be the basis for finding a just and comprehensive solution for the conflict in Darfur very soon,” it stated.The team urged all parties to cease hostilities that have erupted recently in Darfur in order to spare citizens displacement and suffering and create a favourable atmosphere for the Mediation to finalize the peace process as planned.It plans to convene a meeting for the Joint Afro-Arab Inter-Ministerial Committee for Darfur and another meeting, in the first week of January, for the Special Envoys to the Sudan of the Security Council’s permanent members and the European Union.In addition, it will hold consultations with the neighbouring States and other effective regional forces.Once the peace document is completed, the team intends to present it to all stakeholders in a “broad” conference to be held in Doha. read more

Model UN students hope to focus global attention on crucial issues

10 June 2011An upcoming model United Nations meeting in Incheon, Republic of Korea, can help contribute to the debate on key world issues, one of the student leaders at the event told a news conference today at UN Headquarters. Oliver Pase of Australia, who will assume the role of Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information for the meeting on 10-14 August, said the 600 student delegates – drawn from 53 UN Member States – will “actually contribute to the broader debate around the world on crucial issues.”The theme of this year’s meeting, the third in a series that were held previously in Geneva and Kuala Lumpur, will be Sustainable Development: Advancing Human Progress in Harmony with Nature. It will also include consideration of a wide variety of the same issues that face actual UN committees.Dongyeop Lee of the Republic of Korea, who will serve as the Model UN’s General Assembly President, said “as students our capabilities are small,” but that public attention to the focus of the debate could make “a huge difference.”Underlining the sustainable development theme for the meeting, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told the student delegates in a message to be delivered at the opening day: “The ecosystems and resources you will inherit have been subjected to unprecedented stress and exploitation. Different countries and societies have made very different contributions to this state of affairs, but all should be able to agree that it is unsustainable – and we need to find a more balanced and sustainable approach.”The actual Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information Kiyo Akasaka, who presided over the press conference today, said: “It is our hope that participation in the Global Model UN conference will inspire young people to become ambassadors, to work for the UN or become the experts and leaders that we in the UN look to…”This year’s conference is organized by the UN Department of Public Information (DPI), and supported by World Federation of UN Associations (WFUNA), the UN Foundation (UNF) and the UN Fund for International Partnerships (UNFIP). read more

UN agencies work with Philippine authorities to assist floodaffected families

Working with Philippine authorities and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has dispatched more than 5,500 blankets, almost 5,000 tarpaulins and 3,500 plastic mats, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).The World Food Programme (WFP) is also working with local authorities and the NGO Save the Children to prepare for possible distributions of food aid, based on needs assessments that are expected to be completed by tomorrow. Philippine authorities are leading the humanitarian response to the floods.At least nine provinces of Mindanao have experienced flash floods since heavy rains struck the east and south of the island earlier this month, with Maguindanao, North Cotabato and Cotabato City among the hardest-hit areas. But water levels have begun to recede.OCHA reported that an estimated 54,500 people are currently sheltering in evacuation centres while about 332,000 others are living with host families. 23 June 2011United Nations aid agencies are supplying blankets, plastic mats and tarpaulins to families on the Philippine island of Mindanao, where floods have displaced nearly 400,000 people this month. read more

Flooding and accidents hit Intact Financials secondquarter profit but not as much

TORONTO — Intact Financial Corp. had a smaller second-quarter profit than last year but exceeded recent analyst estimates following several recent catastrophes that will result in millions of dollars of payouts by the insurance company.On a per-share basis, the Toronto-based property and casualty insurance company had 89 cents per share of net operating income.That was down from $1.35 a year earlier but 16 cents a share better than anticipated.Overall, Intact’s net operating income fell 32 per cent to $123 million, down $57 from $180 million in the same time last year.Intact said the lower operating income in the quarter ended June 30 reflects losses related to storms and flooding in Alberta.It warned earlier this month that it expected to take a hit in both the second and third quarter from claims related to flooding in Alberta in late June and Toronto and the Lac-Megantic train crash in Quebec in early July.Intact’s net income in the second quarter was $103 million, down 20 per cent from $129 million a year earlier. Its net income fell to 73 cents per share from 95 cents per share.Canadian Press read more

Closing Bell TSX advances as Fed strikes dovish stance in minutes

TORONTO — The Toronto stock market was higher Wednesday as minutes from the Federal Reserve’s latest interest rate meeting were taken to indicate that the U.S. central bank will be more accomodative than thought in keeping short-term rates low.Here are the closing numbersTSX — 14,435.58+63.130.44%S&P 500 —  1,872.18+20.22 1.09%Dow — 16,437.18+181.04 1.11%Nasdaq — 4,183.90  +70.91 1.72%The S&P/TSX composite index was up 63.13 points to 14,435.58.Indexes were also boosted by strong earnings reports from the retail and resource sectors.The Canadian dollar climbed 0.42 of a cent to 91.98 cents US.New York indexes ran ahead as the minutes showed that Fed officials had a secret video conference call in early March where they reached a consensus that the 6.5% unemployment rate threshold for the first rate hike had become outdated. On the conference call, the central bankers were clearly worried that changing the forward guidance would impact markets.In the end, the Fed settled on an open-ended approach — that even after employment and inflation are nearly back to normal, short-term rates may need to stay unusually low for a while because the economy isn’t fully healthy.The Dow Jones industrials jumped 181.04 points to 16,437.18, the Nasdaq rose 70.91 points to 4,183.9 and the S&P 500 index gained 20.22 points to 1,872.18.Traders are braced for a slew of first-quarter earnings reports over the next few weeks.“We’re looking for pretty modest revenue growth,” said Wes Mills, chief investment officer, Scotia Private Client Group.“I think it’s going to be very stock specific. Valuations don’t give you much room to disappoint too far because we’re fairly or fully valued. But the general tone of things is that, on the year, global growth is improving. Things still look pretty good,” Mills said.The reporting season got off to an auspicious start Tuesday as Alcoa Inc. said that it lost US$178 million in the first quarter as the price it was paid for aluminum dropped 8% from a year ago. However, earnings excluding writedowns to reduce smelting and milling capacity were nine cents per share, four cents better than expectations and Alcoa shares rose 3.75% in New York.And on Wednesday, Montreal-based discount chain Dollarama (TSX:DOL) announced a hike in its quarterly dividend to 16 cents from 14 cents. The retailer also posted a quarterly net profit of $83 million and diluted earnings per share of $1.17. That compares with $77.1 million in the same quarter last year on diluted EPS of $1.04. Sales for the quarter were $582.2 million compared with $561.8 million year over year. Its shares ran ahead $7.19 or 8.38% to $92.97 after earlier hitting an all time high of $94.25.Tech stocks led TSX advancers, up 2.19%, with Constellation Software (TSX:CSU) ahead $11.78 to $276.99.The base metals component turned higher, up 0.89% while May copper was down one cent to US$3.04 a pound. May crude on the New York Mercantile Exchange rose $1.15 to US$103.71 a barrel and the energy sector gained 0.57%.The gold sector was flat as June bullion fell $3.20 to US$1,305.90 an ounce.TOP STORIESCRA temporarily stops accepting online tax returns due to Heartbleed security bugFed minutes show several officials think forecasts overstate pace of rate hikesToyota calls back nearly 6.4M vehicles, including 513K in Canada, in one of industry’s biggest ever recallsToronto-Dominion tops Canada’s banks for best returns with least riskWHAT’S ON DECK THURSDAYECONOMIC NEWSCANADA8:30 a.m.New Housing Index (Feb): Economists expect 0.1% rise UNITED STATES8:30 a.m.Weekly jobless claims: Economists expect 320,000 new claims Import price index (March): Economists expect 0.2% rise from month before, 0.9% decline year over year CORPORATE NEWSCANADABauer Performance Sports Ltd Q3 earnings: Analysts expect a loss of 12¢ a share Corus Entertainment Inc    Q2 earnings: Analysts expect 32¢ a share Sandvine Corporation Q1 earnings: Analysts expect 3¢ a share Shaw Communications ‘b’ Q2 earnings: Analysts expect 40¢ a share UNITED STATESFamily Dollar  Q2 earnings: Analysts expect 91¢ a share read more

Brace for another year of slow growth and loonie below 70 cents

TORONTO — Canada is headed for a rocky year as low oil prices continue to drag on economic performance, the chief economists of some of Canada’s biggest banks said Tuesday.Bank of Montreal chief economist Douglas Porter told a morning gathering of leading economists that it’s going to be a “very close call” whether the fourth quarter of 2015 saw any economic growth.Canada’s resource sector has been slammed as the price of crude has fallen from a high above US$105 in June 2014 to below US$40 over the past few months, just as other commodities are at or near multi-year lows.Chance of rate cut rising as markets anxiously await details of Trudeau’s stimulus rescueWhy a world in turmoil is still parking its cash in Canada — lots of cashCanada’s ‘vomitous’ year for stocks: Investors find precious few places to hide in toxic yearSpeaking at an event hosted by the Economic Club of Canada, Porter said it looks like last year was one of the worst years for economic growth in decades outside of a full-on recession, and Canada is looking at a 2016 growth rate not much higher than last 2015.The loonie, which has plunged as the price of oil has declined, also has further to fall, he said.The negative outlook for oil, the differing policy directions between the Canadian and American central banks, and the strengthening American economy mean the loonie will fall below 70 cents US before it begins to recover, Porter said.“The last line of defence for the Canadian dollar would be some stability in oil prices and resource prices, and we just don’t see that stability over the next few months.”Canada’s dollar has been trading near 11-year lows for weeks but has remained above 71 cents U.S. since 2003.Craig Wright, Royal Bank of Canada’s chief economist, said the cheap loonie and the American economic recovery should provide a boost to Canadian exports in the near future, although such a rebound hasn’t materialized so far.Wright said Canada will depend more than ever on its largest trading partner for export growth, because of the faltering performance of the rest of the world including the European Union and China.“The U.S is the bright shining star,” he said. “But it’s not a very bright sky.”CIBC chief economist Avery Shenfeld said 2016 will be a disappointing year for the global economy at large, and Canada won’t be spared.Yet by the end of the year, he said, investors may see better returns as the world looks ahead to a brighter 2017. read more

Canada and US remain very far apart on softwood lumber Chrystia Freeland

MONTREAL — Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland says Canada and the United States remain “very far apart” on negotiating a softwood lumber settlement.Freeland offered the blunt assessment after addressing the International Economic Forum of the Americas in Montreal today.Her comments, which come nearly two months after duties were first imposed on Canadian lumber producers exporting softwood into the U.S., suggest that any hopes of a swift resolution may be out of reach.Canada announces $867M in softwood aid in wake of U.S. lumber taxU.S. softwood lumber duties will cost 2,200 jobs and $700 million, Conference Board of Canada saysTrudeau tiptoes around trade disputes with U.S. as Trump mulls ‘major action if necessary’Still, Freeland says there are “good grounds for reasonable parties” to reach an agreement, pointing out the U.S. economy’s dependence on Canadian lumber because it can’t produce enough on its own.She says the federal government remains confident in its position that the duties on Canadian producers are punitive and without foundation.In late April, the U.S. set levies on Canadian softwood lumber producers ranging from three to 24 per cent on allegations that they are unfairly subsidized, accusations that Ottawa and the Canadian industry rejects. read more

ICE Futures Canada Tuesday morning Canola prices higher barley unchanged

WINNIPEG — Prices were higher in mid-morning trading at ICE Futures Canada on Tuesday:Canola: Nov. ’17 $8.10 higher $508.40; Jan. ’18 $7.60 higher $513.30; March ’18 $5.30 higher $514.80; May ’18 $5.60 higher $517.50; July ’18 $6.00 higher $519.90; Nov. ’18 $4.90 higher $484.50; Jan. ’19 unchanged $480.40; March ’19 unchanged $483.10; May ’19 unchanged $483.10; July ’19 unchanged $483.10; Nov. ’19 unchanged $483.10.Barley (Western): Oct. ’17 unchanged $145.00; Dec. ’17 unchanged $141.00; March ’18 unchanged $141.00; May ’18 unchanged $141.00; July ’18 unchanged $141.00; Oct. ’18 unchanged $141.00; Dec. ’18 unchanged $141.00; March ’19 unchanged $141.00; May ’19 unchanged $141.00; July ’19 unchanged $141.00; Oct. ’19 unchanged $141.00. read more