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HomeBusiness ReportAFTER THE BELL: Series of Trump tweets drive down oil prices, send...

AFTER THE BELL: Series of Trump tweets drive down oil prices, send U.S. markets higher

A tweet by the U.S. president stopped the recent spike in oil prices in its tracks.

In response to the world’s largest exporters cutting supply to stem a price drop, President Donald Trump turned to Twitter, complaining that oil prices are now getting too high.

He went on to tweet, “OPEC, please relax and take it easy. World cannot take a price hike – fragile!”

Trump’s tweet sparked a sudden downturn in oil prices, with crude falling $1.91 to $55.35 a barrel.

Despite today’s drop in oil, the TSX managed to cling to gains, adding 44 points with seven of the index’s 11 sectors trading higher.

There were healthy gains among banking and financial stocks with Toronto Dominion, Royal Bank, Sunlife, and Manulife moving up between 0.5 and 2.1 percent.

Meanwhile, Bombardier was the most actively traded stock on the index after CBC reported that its plant in Thunder Bay set a new rail and streetcar production record last year.

Despite this, and the company announcing that it is investing $22 million into two major aerospace research projects over the next three years, Bombardier’s stock sat flat today at $2.79 a share.

In New York, the Dow pared earlier gains but still managed to move 60 points higher while the Nasdaq edged up 26 points, due mainly to heightened optimism regarding trade negotiations between the two largest economies.

Trump said on Twitter that the the U.S. has made “substantial progress” in trade talks with China on “important structural issues,” adding that he will be delaying America’s increase in tariffs now scheduled for March 1.

The tweets struck a positive chord with both American and Chinese investors, with trade sensitive bellwethers getting a boost.  Caterpillar was up by 1.9 percent while Apple climbed 0.7 percent.

Meanwhile, Barrick Gold has proposed an $18 billion all-stock takeover bid of Newmont Mining Corp., which would make Barrick the world’s largest gold miner.

Shares in Barrick were down three percent today.

The Canadian dollar edged lower to $0.7580 US while gold was off by $2.50 to $1,327 an ounce.

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