Today’s news: Trending business stories for Nov. 27, 2023

The latest business news as it happens

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4:36 p.m.

Market close: TSX closes down moderately along with U.S. stock markets

Markets chart

Canada’s main stock index closed down moderately along with U.S. markets as investors stuck to a cautious outlook on the economy.

The S&P/TSX composite index ended down 70.45 points at 20,032.66, led by declines in energy and base metal stocks.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 56.68 points at 35,333.47. The S&P 500 index was down 8.91 points at 4,550.43, while the Nasdaq composite was down 9.83 points at 14,241.02.

The Canadian dollar traded for 73.34 cents U.S. compared with 73.41 cents U.S. on Friday.

The January crude contract closed down 68 cents at US$74.86 per barrel and the January natural gas contract was down five cents at US$2.95 per mmBTU.

The December gold contract was up US$9.40 at US$2,012.40 an ounce and the March copper contract was down three cents at US$3.80 a pound.

The Canadian Press


4:02 p.m.

Pathways Alliance confident $16.5-billion carbon capture project will go ahead

Pathways Alliance chief executive Kendall Dilling at the World Petroleum Congress in Calgary.
Pathways Alliance chief executive Kendall Dilling at the World Petroleum Congress in Calgary. Photo by Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press files

The oilsands industry group that has proposed building what would be one of the world’s largest carbon capture and storage projects says it is more confident than ever it will go ahead with construction.

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The Pathways Alliance is a consortium of Canada’s largest oilsands companies, which have banded together to propose a $16.5 billion carbon capture and storage network to decrease emissions from oilsands sites in northern Alberta.

The group hasn’t yet made a final investment decision but has spent about $80 million on preliminary engineering, design and environmental work.

Last week, the federal government provided additional details about its promised carbon capture investment tax credit, including a timeline for its finalization.

It also promised that up to $7 billion will be allocated to special contracts intended to give companies the confidence they need to make major investments to lower their greenhouse gas emissions.

Pathways president Kendall Dilling says he feels more confident now than he did a year ago, adding Pathways is preparing to file for regulatory approval for its project within the next couple of months.

The Canadian Press


2:52 p.m.

Binance’s Zhao can’t return to UAE from U.S. for now, judge says

Binance founder and CEO Changpeng Zhao
Binance founder and CEO Changpeng Zhao, right, leaves federal court in Seattle, Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2023, after pleading guilty to violations of U.S. anti-money laundering laws. Photo by Ken Lambert/The Seattle Times via AP

Binance Holdings Ltd.’s Changpeng Zhao won’t be able to return to his home in the United Arab Emirates for now, a federal judge in Seattle ruled, putting on hold a decision allowing him to leave the United States before his sentencing.

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U.S. District Judge Richard Jones on Monday stayed a ruling granting the multi-billionaire’s request to return to the UAE before his February sentencing. U.S. prosecutors have asked the court to reverse that decision.

Prosecutors have said there is a “substantial risk” that Zhao, who pleaded guilty last week to anti-money laundering and U.S. sanctions violations as part of a broad agreement with the government, won’t return to the U.S. because of his significant assets, his ties to the UAE and the inability to extradite him.

Bloomberg


1:07 p.m.

Black Friday sales hit $4.1 billion, top last year’s numbers: Shopify

Shopify Inc. says this year’s Black Friday sales across its merchants were 22 per cent higher than the year before.

The Ottawa-based e-commerce company says businesses using its software made $4.1 billion in sales on Black Friday.

The average purchase in Canada over the Black Friday weekend totalled $171.60 with most sales coming in around noon eastern time on Friday.

Shopify says the most popular categories for purchases in the country were cosmetics, necklaces, shirts, earrings, underwear and socks.

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Salesforce says online sales on Black Friday totalled $70.9 billion globally and in Canada were up two per cent from the year before.

The surge in Black Friday shopping came as inflation and interest rates remain high, weighing on consumers and pushing many to seek deeper discounts than usual.

The Canadian Press


12:02 p.m.

Midday markets: TSX down on losses in energy, industrial sectors

Markets chart

Canada’s main stock index was down in early-afternoon trading as losses in the energy, industrial and base metal sectors were partially offset by strength in the technology stocks.

The S&P/TSX composite index was down 0.33 per cent at 20,035.63.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 0.21 per cent at 35,314.87. The S&P 500 index was down 0.07 per cent at 4,556.95, while the Nasdaq composite was up 0.22 per cent at 14,283.50.

The Canadian dollar traded for 73.26 cents U.S. compared with 73.41 cents U.S. on Friday.

The January crude contract was down 23 cents at US$75.31 per barrel and the January natural gas contract was down eight cents at US$2.92 per mmBTU.

The December gold contract was up US$8.50 at US$2,011.50 an ounce and the March copper contract was down four cents at US$3.80 a pound.

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The Canadian Press


10:51 a.m.

Canadian EV busmaker Lion Electric cutting 150 jobs

Lion Electric's Marc Bedard.
Lion Electric’s Marc Bedard. Photo by Andrej Ivanov/Reuters

The Lion Electric Co. says it is cutting 150 jobs or about 10 per cent of its total workforce in a move to reduce costs and improve its ability to reach its profitability objectives.

Lion Electric chief executive and founder Marc Bedard says it was a difficult decision, but the right thing to do for the business.

The cuts affect workers in production overhead, manufacturing, product development and administrative functions, both in Canada and the United States.

Lion Electric designs and builds all-electric trucks, buses and minibuses.

Earlier this month, the company, which keeps its books in U.S. dollars, reported a loss of US$19.9 million or nine cents per diluted share in its third quarter compared with a loss of US$17.2 million or nine cents per diluted a year earlier.

Revenue for the quarter ended Sept. 30 totalled US$80.3 million, up from US$41 million in the same quarter last year.

The Canadian Press


10:17 a.m.

Markets open: Stocks take breather from melt-up

Stocks edged lower after hitting overbought levels in a rally that sent the market toward one of its biggest melt-ups over the last 100 years.

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The S&P 500 pulled back after notching a four-week advance. Wall Street’s “fear gauge” — the VIX — halted a slide that drove the equity-volatility gauge to its lowest since 2020. Cryptocurrency-linked shares dropped as Bitcoin slid. Traders will keep a close eye on retailers as Cyber Monday kicked off. Gold topped US$2,000 as the U.S. dollar continued to weaken. Bond yields fell.

“The technical backdrop in the stock market right now is critically important,” said Matt Maley, chief market strategist at Miller Tabak + Co. “This does not mean that we’re about to see an important top in the stock market. It could just mean that we’ll see a mild pullback or even a ‘sideways’ correction at some point in the next week or two to work off this overbought condition.”

Bets that policymakers are done with the rate-hiking cycle have fuelled a four-week, 11 per cent S&P 500 rally, pushing short-term volatility expectations to levels last seen in November 2021. While some used the opportunity to buy protection on the cheap, it’s been far from ubiquitous, and calls saying the market environment is getting too placid are on the rise.

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On Wall Street, the S&P 500 was down 0.14 per cent at 4,552.66. The Dow Jones industrial average was down 0.14 per cent 35,341.87 while the Nasdaq composite was down 0.05 per cent at 14,243.44.

In Toronto, the S&P/TSX composite index was down 0.12 per cent at 20,078.66.

Bloomberg


9:44 a.m.

Suncor restarts production at Terra Nova after work to extend life of project

Terra Nova
Suncor operates the Terra Nova field. The Terra Nova Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) is one of the largest vessels ever built. Photo by Handout/ Suncor

Suncor Energy Inc. says it has restarted production at its Terra Nova production, storage and off-loading vessel.

The company says the restart comes after finishing work to extend the life of the project.

Production is expected to ramp up over the coming months.

Suncor chief executive Rich Kruger says the project will provide additional cash flow for shareholders as well as benefits to the Newfoundland and Labrador and Canadian economies.

Terra Nova is an oilfield located offshore Newfoundland and Labrador about 350 kilometres southeast of St. John’s.

Suncor holds a 48 per cent stake in the project, while Cenovus Energy Inc. owns a 34 per cent stake and Murphy Oil Corp. holds 18 per cent.

The Canadian Press

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9 a.m.

Air Transat flight attendants OK strike mandate

Air Transat flight attendants voted 99.8 per cent in favour of backing a strike mandate if a new contract can't be reached.
Air Transat flight attendants voted 99.8 per cent in favour of backing a strike mandate if a new contract can’t be reached. Photo by John Mahoney/Montreal Gazette

The union representing 2,100 flight attendants at Air Transat says workers have voted to approve a strike if they cannot reach a new contract with the airline.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees says the flight attendants voted 99.8 per cent in favour of backing the mandate.

Dominic Levasseur, president of the Air Transat component of CUPE, said the next few weeks of negotiations will be critical.

Levasseur said it’s still possible to reach a new contract without resorting to a strike, but the union’s members have high expectations and are extremely motivated.

The collective agreement for the flight attendants based at airports in Montreal and Toronto expired on Oct. 31, 2022.

Air Transat is owned by travel company Transat AT Inc.

The Canadian Press


7:30 a.m.

PwC cuts 2% of Canadian workforce as economy slows

PwC is laying off some of its Canadian staffers as sustained high interest rates push the economy toward a recession.
PwC is laying off some of its Canadian staffers as sustained high interest rates push the economy toward a recession. Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images

PricewaterhouseCoopers International Ltd., the global accounting firm, has cut its workforce in Canada by two per cent as sustained high interest rates push the nation’s economy toward a recession.

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A spokeswoman for PwC confirmed the reduction, reported earlier by the Globe and Mail newspaper, without giving further details of the layoffs. With the company’s website saying it employs about 7,700 people in Canada, the cut would amount to about 150 people.

The Canadian economy looks to have entered a technical recession this year as the Bank of Canada holds interest rates at multi-decade highs to combat inflation.

Preliminary data show output contracted 0.1 per cent in the third quarter after registering a 0.2 per cent decline in the previous three months, meeting the two-consecutive quarters of slowing activity needed to qualify as a recession.

Bloomberg


Before the opening bell

Stock markets November 27, 2023

Stocks fell and gold climbed to a six-month high as data showed a sharp slowdown in China’s industrial profits, which reinforced investor concerns about its sluggish economy.

The Stoxx 600 index fell 0.3 per cent and Nasdaq futures retreated 0.2 per cent. Treasury 10-year yields climbed as much as five basis points to 4.51 per cent, the highest in more than a week. Gold climbed to the highest since May, while the dollar was little changed.

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In Canada, the S&P/TSX composite index closed down slightly, falling 13.55 points to 20,103.11.

Bloomberg


What to watch today

Today is Cyber Monday, with retailers promising more promotions and deals after Black Friday to draw sales.

The First Nations Climate Initiative is hosting a briefing to coincide with the release of its independent study, Western Canadian Gas Exports: Opportunities and Risks in a Low Carbon World.

We’ll also get data on new United States home sales for October.

Related Stories

Need a refresher on Friday’s top headlines? Get caught up here.

Additional reporting by The Canadian Press, Associated Press and Bloomberg


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