The banks have had a long run of strong profits but the good times are about to become a little less so, according to Ed Clark, chief executive of Toronto-Dominion Bank.
Europe remains in a shambles, the U.S. still hasn’t recovered, while in Canada strong tailwinds such as the housing market have turned into headwinds. But the real challenge, “the underlying issue” is what’s going to happen to interest rates, Mr. Clark told RBC Capital Markets’ annual bank CEO conference in Toronto on Tuesday.
TORONTO — The Canadian dollar drifted lower Wednesday morning amid general U.S. dollar strength.
The loonie was down 0.07 of a cent to 91.27 cents US to levels last seen in September 2009.
The new year is only two weeks old and the loonie has already fallen 3.1%, making it the worst performing primary currency.
The reasons for the decline are many. One is that the greenback has gained in value as the Federal Reserve starts to back away from its massive monthly bond purchases.
The big story in economics is the recent rise in interest rates. In just the past several weeks, as talk has grown about reducing the pace of bond purchases via quantitative easing, yields on the US 10-year have surged past 2.5%. Very recently they were barely above 1.5%.
Canada’s life insurance companies can’t seem to catch a break as stubbornly low interest rates continue to hamper earnings six years after the hard crash of the financial crisis.
The picture seemed to be brightening for lifecos last May, when the U.S. Federal Reserve first began hinting that it would scale back its massive bond buying program — a program that has kept long-term interest rates at record lows. The news led to a temporary spike in bond yields and a flood of investors poured into lifecos looking to capitalize.
Hedge fund performance continues to be weak so far in 2014 and this week was no different as long/short funds found to their dismay that trading on rational thought and fundamental analysis was for losers. However, global macro strategies are doing the worst of all as carry trades unwind, sanctions create inflows, and geopolitical chaos creates nonsense from sense. The best performing hedge fund strategy... buying-the-most-shorted is beaten only by Bonds.. and in first place of all assets - Gold.
By Jake Zamansky:Stocks have soared in value the last several years, and a dangerous investment strategy is creeping back into the market: financial advisors may soon recommend that clients tap the equity in their home to buy stocks.