August 27th, 2013 Business & Market Update

Some good news out of Europe this morning as German Manufacturing increased to the highest level in 16 months indicating that the economy in the region is continuing to improve.  However the systemic risk of the Syrian crisis is front and centre today as all of the West and many other nations are continuing to make accusations as to the use of chemical weapons and with the accusations threats of retaliation from the US, the UK and NATO en masse have been causing markets world wide to fall

Asia was off about three quarters of a point overnight, Euro markets are down about 1.5% US futures are off about a point and Canada is down about a third of a point.

Oil has rallied on the news up over $2.00 to 108.01 which is what is causing the Canadian markets to see moderate losses only. Gold is also rallying on the news up over 26.00 to 1419 as are bonds with money moving back into the safe haven of US Treasuries.  The loonie is down a quarter cent to 94.94.

Both BMO and BNS came with earnings this morning and both beat estimates and matched, for the most part, on revenues.  BMO’s numbers were interesting and I would suggest the beat was not as big as indicated mostly due to the loan loss provisions that were hard to determine for the quarter.  Unlike BNS, BMO did not increase their dividend.  In all a respectable quarter from both institutions however caution remains going forward.

Lastly, home ownership in Canada continues to be a priority for most however ownership continues to be difficult for many as prices are putting many out of the market.  RBC released a report yesterday that suggests many have been priced out of the market and are concerned with the level of debt that they need to take on to purchase a home.  This in my view is a positive development and over time will cause a correction in prices as demand continues to decline to more moderate levels.  Many are starting to realize that while mortgage rates are low and accessible that same dynamic is what continues to push prices higher. Also, the Case Shiller US home price index rose 12.1% year over year through the end of July, which confirms the continued recovery in the US housing market.

Kenneth A. Dick, BA, CIM, CFP, FCSI

Branch Manager & Portfolio Manager | Independent Wealth Management

Canaccord Genuity Wealth Management