• Canada's BMO to close indirect retail auto finance business, flags job losses
Bank of Montreal (BMO) is winding down its indirect retail auto finance business and shifting focus to other areas in a move that will result in an unspecified number of job losses, Canada's third-largest bank said.
• UAW, Detroit Three automakers try to reach deal before strike widens
The United Auto Workers strike against the Detroit Three automakers enters its fourth day as both sides try to hammer out deals to avoid costly disruptions to more plants.
• Chevron's strike-hit Australia LNG facility resumes full production
Chevron said full production had resumed at its strike-hit Wheatstone liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility in Western Australia after a fault last week cut production by about one-fifth.
• Canada's Ontario Teachers' fund buys KKR's stake in Australia's GreenCollar
Canada's Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan said it acquired stakes held by KKR & Co and other shareholders in GreenCollar, making it the majority stakeholder in the Australian environmental markets platform.
• Canadian pension fund HOOPP to open London office
The Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP), one of Canada's largest pension funds, plans to open a London office as part of its global expansion, it said on Friday.
BEFORE THE BELL
Toronto futures edged upward, supported by higher crude prices amid supply concerns, while investors keenly await inflation data out later this week that could offer more insight on the Bank of Canada's (BoC) outlook for interest rates. Futures tracking Wall Street's main indexes were marginally higher after a pounding in the prior session and ahead of a widely expected pause in Federal Reserve interest rate hikes later this week. European shares eased as investors braced for a week packed with global central bank meetings, including rate decisions from Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK and the United States. Gold prices hit one-week highs on bets of Fed pause while the U.S. dollar edged lower.
STOCKS TO WATCH
• Bank of Montreal: The bank is winding down its indirect retail auto finance business and shifting focus to other areas in a move that will result in an unspecified number of job losses, Canada's third-largest bank said. The move comes after BMO's overall bad debt provisions rose to C$492 million, compared with C$136 million a year earlier, for the quarter ended July 31 in a sign of growing stress consumers face from a rapid rise in borrowing costs. "By winding down the indirect retail auto finance business, we have the ability to focus our resources on areas where we believe our competitive positioning is strongest," BMO said in a statement to Reuters.
• Santacruz Silver Mining Ltd: The Canadian miner said on Friday that an employee died at its Zimapan Mine in Mexico last week. The fatality was due to a rockfall from a stope face, the company said in a statement. "A jackleg driller and his helper were collaring a horizontal blast hole, at which time a rock fell from the face and struck the helper," the company added. An investigation is ongoing, the company added and said the mine has since resumed operations.
China stored huge volumes of crude oil in August, giving it options: Russell
China's record crude oil processing and robust imports in August have painted a bullish picture of demand in the world's largest importer.
• Canadian Natural Resources Ltd: RBC raises target price to C$90 from C$82, reflecting on the company’s robust balance sheet and free cash flow generation potential.
• Canopy Growth Corp: Bernstein cuts target price to C$1.49 from C$2.1, citing uncertainty around cannabis legalization at the federal level in the U.S.
ECONOMIC EVENTS (All timings in U.S. Eastern Time)
0815 House starts, annualized for Aug: Expected 245,300; Prior 255,000
0830 Producer prices mm for Aug: Prior 0.4%
0830 Producer prices yy for Aug: Prior -2.7%
0830 Raw materials prices mm for Aug: Prior 3.5%
0830 Raw materials prices yy for Aug: Prior -11.1%
(All analysts' estimates are according to I/B/E/S Refinitiv data)