Bank of Canada interest rate plans corporate earnings to focus investors

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by Malcolm Morrison, The Canadian Press Posted Jul 15, 2012 6:00 am MDT Bank of Canada interest rate plans, corporate earnings to focus investors TORONTO – The Canadian dollar could find itself under some selling pressure this week after the country’s central bank makes its next scheduled interest rate announcement on Tuesday.There is no doubt that the Bank of Canada will keep its key interest rate unchanged at one per cent, reflecting a general global economic slowdown.But traders will be looking to the central bank’s commentary for an idea of where it thinks the Canadian economy is headed and hints about when it might get around to raising rates.“If the bank aggressively cuts its economic forecast and abandons its mild tightening bias, the currency could be dinged a bit,” said Doug Porter, deputy chief economist at BMO Capital markets.Porter said there is a strong case for the Bank of Canada to move back towards a more neutral bias as far as rates are concerned.He notes that almost every major central bank in the world “has eased in some way over the last month whether it’s quantitative easing by the Bank of England or actually outright cuts by the European Central Bank and all kinds of emerging markets, like China and Korea.”The bank had indicated earlier this year that it might move to raise rates, but worsening economic conditions have dampened any expectations for a hike any time soon.“We have again had to shift our view on the bank,” said Porter.“Back in April, we had brought forward when we had them starting to hike rates and subsequently we have put them right back to where they were. So we don’t see the next rate hike by the Bank of Canada until about a year from now.”The Canadian dollar hasn’t closed above parity with the U.S. dollar since early May and since then the commodity-sensitive loonie has generally found a perch around 97 or 98 cents. That is a level of strength Porter found surprising considering that oil prices have tumbled almost 20 per cent since the beginning of May while copper prices have fallen by about 12 per cent.“I do believe it is trading well above the so-called fair value based on where commodity prices are now,” said Porter.“The currency should be lower.”Meanwhile, stock markets will be focused on an increasing number of second-quarter earnings reports from corporate America.Citigroup kicks off and General Electric wraps up the week and there are plenty of major reports in between.But expectations are muted for the quarter as the global economic recovery faltered. Big multinationals also faced headwinds from a U.S. dollar that increased in value as a worsening eurozone debt crisis pushed nervous investors to the safe haven status of American treasuries.“We became so accustomed last year to earnings always surprising on the upside and now I think we’re getting to earnings surprising on the downside phase,” said Norman Raschkowan, North American strategist at Mackenzie Financial Corp.“And chances are that is not going to be a one-quarter phenomenon, the second-quarter numbers will probably be soft and the third-quarter numbers will be soft.”Raschkowan said this doesn’t mean the overall environment is bad.“It just means that we really are looking at single digit earnings growth for the market for this year, he said, which in a world where the global economy is growing like three per cent, that’s not bad. It’s just not what people were hoping for.”The TSX ended last week down 145 points or 1.24 per cent.On the economic calendar, traders will take in the latest Canadian inflation data.Statistics Canada is expected to report that the consumer price index rose by 0.2 per cent in June from May. The annual rate of inflation is expected to rise to 1.7 per cent from 1.2 per cent in May. The gain would reflect a big drop in prices a year ago, driven by a huge decline in auto prices last June.In the U.S., data out Monday is expected to show retail sales rose by 0.2 per cent in June after dropping by the same amount in May, thanks to stronger auto sales.And investors will get an updated snapshot of the economy when the U.S. Federal Reserve releases its so-called Beige Book report on regional conditions on Wednesday. read more

Utah QB Jason Shelley embracing new role with confidence

SALT LAKE CITY — One quality that teammates and coaches love about Utah quarterback Jason Shelley is his confidence.The moment never seems to be too big for the redshirt freshman.Nothing exemplifies that better than a second-quarter play Shelley made against BYU. With the No. 17 Utes struggling to get their offence going in the first half of a 35-27 victory over the Cougars last weekend, Shelley sprinted 11 yards into BYU territory for a key first down, hurdling cornerback Keenan Ellis along the way.“I’ve never hurdled anybody before and I just tell people, ‘Don’t hurdle. It’s dangerous. Not the right thing to do,’” Shelley said. “That was a reflex. I’m not going to lie to you.”Shelley’s willingness to act on instinct and do whatever needs to be done to win is one key reason Utah is playing No. 10 Washington in the Pac-12 championship game on Friday night. He has gone 3-0 as a starter since stepping in for Tyler Huntley after Huntley broke his collarbone in a 38-20 loss to Arizona State.The Utes haven’t taken a step backward with Shelley at the controls. He hasn’t committed a turnover and his poise on and off the field has rubbed off on the rest of the team.“As a leader, the team really responds to him,” coach Kyle Whittingham said. “He’s a guy that’s really got the respect of his teammates and that’s through his work ethic, how he’s performed, and who he is. He’s a professional.”For Shelley, it’s a satisfying step in a season that began with speculation about whether he would ultimately even remain a quarterback or get moved to a different position. Shelley faced an intense battle with freshman Jack Tuttle in spring and fall camp for the No. 2 quarterback spot. Shelley ultimately prevailed over Tuttle, a four-star recruit from Utah’s 2018 signing class who has since left the program, and won the backup job.Now he is proving himself worthy of being a starter.None of Shelley’s key stats really jump off the page. He has thrown for 624 yards and three touchdowns over the last three games, while completing 58.5 per cent of his passes. But his knack for making big plays does catch fans’ attention.In wins over Oregon and Colorado, Shelley connected with receivers on deep passes at critical junctures. Then, against BYU, he did damage with his legs, rushing for a career-high 61 yards, including an impromptu 33-yard run for Utah’s final touchdown with 1:43 left.“I was just trying to run the clock out and then there was a lot of grass, so I figured I could seal the game with a touchdown,” Shelley said.Offensive production is holding steady under Shelley’s leadership.The Utes averaged 41.0 points and 481.8 total yards during a four-game winning streak in October. After Huntley and lead running back Zack Moss went down with injuries, Utah has ripped off three straight wins while averaging 32.3 points and 393.3 yards.Whittingham credits offensive co-ordinator and quarterbacks coach Troy Taylor for scripting plays that are tailored to Shelley’s specific skills. He has many of the same dual-threat qualities as Huntley, but the plays with Shelley incorporate nuances that play to his strengths at the position.Shelley does his part by not trying to do too much by himself.“He never presses,” Whittingham said. “He doesn’t try to make a play when there’s not one there to be made.”___More AP college football: and Coon, The Associated Press read more