Financials give TSX a minor boost loonie down amid flat GDP numbers

TORONTO — The Toronto stock index posted a minor gain Friday, while the Canadian dollar fell amid the latest GDP numbers released by Statistics Canada.The S&P/TSX composite index advanced 16.69 points to 15,634.94, led mainly by financials.The country’s eight-month march of monthly growth in the economy came to an end in July after Statistics Canada reported that gross domestic product was essentially unchanged at zero per cent growth in July compared with June. The development could head off more rate hikes this year and put downward pressure on the Canadian dollar.The loonie was trading at an average price of 80.13 cents US, down 0.19 of a U.S. cent.“The Canadian dollar softened as this GDP report reduced the odds of a third rate hike by the Bank of Canada this year, especially when you combine it with governor Stephen Poloz’s recent speech which gave more of a cautionary tone to the bank’s approach going forward,” said Todd Mattina, a chief economist at Mackenzie Investments.The Bank of Canada raised rates twice over the summer following the economy’s surprisingly powerful start to the year, but Poloz said during a speech Wednesday that he has no prearranged route for further interest-rate hikes.On the corporate front, shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals Inc. (TSX:VRX) were up 79 cents, or 4.62 per cent, to $17.88 at the close of markets amid the company’s announcement that it has completed the sale of its iNova Pharmaceuticals business for $930 million in cash.Quebec-based Valeant says it will use net proceeds of about $920 million from the sale to reduce its debt, as it continues to simplify its portfolio and focus on its core businesses. The company’s shares have plunged since questions about its business model first emerged two years ago, when they traded for more than $300 per share.South of the border, U.S. stocks pushed further into record territory on Wall Street.The S&P 500 index edged up 9.30 points to 2,519.36 and the Nasdaq composite index advanced 42.51 points to 6,495.96 — new highs for both indices. Meanwhile, the Dow Jones industrial average added 23.89 points to 22,405.09.In U.S. economic news, a Commerce Department report released Friday showed consumer spending inched up 0.1 per cent in August, and wages and salaries were unchanged. That could be a hint third-quarter economic growth will be weaker.In commodities, the November crude contract was up 11 cents to US$51.67 per barrel while the November natural gas contract lost a penny to US$3.01 per mmBTU.The December gold contract gave back $3.90 to US$1,284.80 an ounce and the December copper contract retreated three cents to US$2.96 a pound.Follow @DaveHTO on Twitter. read more

Roots cofounders sell majority stake to Searchlight Capital investment firm

Roots co-founders sell majority stake to Searchlight Capital investment firm by David Friend, The Canadian Press Posted Oct 26, 2015 4:05 pm MDT Last Updated Oct 26, 2015 at 5:03 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email TORONTO – The co-owners of prominent clothing chain Roots Canada are selling off a majority stake in the company to a private equity firm as another wave of retail competition hits Canada.Roots — known for emblazoning its famous beaver logo across sweatshirts and other garments and dressing Olympic Games athletes — will now be owned by Searchlight Capital Partners LP while the retailer’s co-founders, Michael Budman and Don Green, maintain a smaller stake.The unspecified “significant investment” by Searchlight Capital, which has offices in Toronto, New York and London, will be used to launch the brand’s next stage of growth.Budman and Green say they both intend to remain actively involved with Roots.Searchlight Capital has invested in other Canadian companies, including rubber boot maker Hunter Boot Ltd. and Canadian frozen food retailer M&M Meat Shops.In a statement, Budman said the duo met with the co-founders of Searchlight before signing the agreement.“We were impressed by how well they understood and respected our brand,” he said.“Not only do they have relevant experience, international expertise and financial resources to draw on, but they are also committed to Roots staying true to its long-standing values, culture and quality products.”Roots also has to contend with the soaring popularity of fast fashion retailers like H&M, Zara and trendy, lower-priced brands like Topshop.And next spring Hudson’s Bay (TSX:HBC) plans to throw open the doors to the first Saks Fifth Avenue stores, while U.S. department store chain Nordstrom is also opening stores in big cities across the country.Despite the competition, Roots hasn’t budged on embracing its Canadian identity and reputation for durability.When Target Corp. entered Canada, Roots signed a partnership where the U.S. discount chain stocked its Beaver Canoe home decor offerings and some of its clothing.Roots operates 245 retail stores across Canada, the United States and Asia. read more