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Canadian home sales in March up 4.9 per cent from year ago, CREA says

TORONTO - The Canadian Real Estate Association says the number of homes sold last month was up 4.9 per cent compared with the same month last year, but remained below the 10-year average. The industry association also says sales in March were up 1.0 per cent compared with February, but below a recent peak set last August. CREA says more than half the local markets it tracks saw more sales in March, led by Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto but the number of new listings rose only half a percentage point and the supply of homes for sale remains low.

Teranet house price index unusually flat in March, western cities see advances

TORONTO - The Teranet–National Bank index of Canadian house prices was unchanged last month, the first time in 15 years that there hasn't been an increase between February and March. A TD Bank commentary says the Teranet index for March was slightly below expectations and adds there will likely be a bounce back for the short run as the spring sales season progresses. The bank also noted that mortgage rates have recently fallen — a trend that will make the overall cost of ownership less expensive for buyers.

Canadian dollar rises more than half a cent after domestic jobs numbers impress

TORONTO - The Canadian dollar gained more than half a cent early Friday as the latest jobs figures delivered a few positive surprises on the Canadian economy. The loonie was up 0.62 of a cent from the previous close to 91.21 cent cents US, after Statistics Canada said 43,000 net new jobs were added in March. Before the release of the data, the currency was ahead 0.1 of a cent at 7:30 a.m. ET. Most of the new jobs were part-time positions, and the vast majority of the new jobs went to young Canadians, the agency said.

Toronto stock market aims higher following U.S., Canadian jobs data

TORONTO - The Toronto stock market looked to move higher Friday after impressive numbers on Canadian jobs and solid gains in the United States provided some optimism about the state of the domestic economy. The Canadian dollar was up 0.62 of a cent at 91.21 cent cents US, before stock markets opened. Statistics Canada said 43,000 net new jobs were added in March. Most of the new jobs were part-time positions, and the vast majority of the new jobs went to young Canadians, the agency said.

BRP bracing for sales fallout from geopolitical turmoil in Russia

MONTREAL - BRP is braced for a softening in sales in Russia in the coming year because of "political and economic instability" in the company's third-largest market, the recreational vehicle manufacturer said Friday. The maker of snowmobiles, personal watercraft and all-terrain vehicles said the Russian market, which has grown by 20 per cent annually over the last decade, has faced challenges in the last six months because of weaker demand due to poor snow conditions and a sharp decline in the value of the ruble.

TSX declines amid cautious U.S. durable goods reading, lower gold and metals

TORONTO - The Toronto stock market registered a three-digit loss Wednesday as investors searched for some direction, despite easing tensions in Ukraine and cautious signs of a rebound in the U.S. manufacturing sector. The S The U.S. Commerce Department says orders for durable goods rose in February by the largest amount in three months, helped by solid gains in demand for airplanes and cars. The increase amounted to a 2.2 per cent jump last month, compared with a 1.3 per cent drop in January.

Younger workers having hard time finding work and keeping jobs, new Labor Dept. study shows

WASHINGTON - Young adults born in the early 1980s held an average of just over six jobs each from ages 18 through 26, a Labor Department survey showed Wednesday. Since 1997, the department's Bureau of Labor Statistics has been keeping tabs on about 9,000 young men and women born in the early 1980s, surveying their educational and workplace progress. The latest survey is from interviews conducted in 2011-2012. According to the survey, more than two-thirds of the jobs held by high-school dropouts lasted less than a year.

Orders for US manufactured goods jump 2.2 per cent in February, best gain since November

WASHINGTON - Orders to U.S. factories for long-lasting manufactured goods rose in February by the largest amount in three months, helped by solid gains in demand for airplanes and autos. The Commerce Department says orders for durable goods increased 2.2 per cent last month following a 1.3 per cent drop in January. The February rebound was led by a 13.6 per cent surge in orders for commercial aircraft. Orders for motor vehicles and parts rose 3.6 per cent, recovering from a January decline.

Number of EI recipients down 1.9 per cent in January: StatsCan

OTTAWA - Statistics Canada says 502,500 people were getting regular employment insurance benefits in January, down 1.9 per cent from the previous month. It says the decline follows a period of relative stability in the number of EI beneficiaries that began in May 2013. The number of regular EI recipients declined in Quebec, British Columbia, Prince Edward Island and Ontario in January. There was little or no change in the other provinces.

Wholesale sales up 0.8 per cent in January, Statistics Canada says

OTTAWA - Statistics Canada says wholesale sales rose 0.8 per cent to $50.0 billion in January, following a drop in December. The agency says gains compared with December were seen in all subsectors except motor vehicle and parts which slipped 2.2 per cent. Excluding the motor vehicle and parts sector, wholesale sales were up 1.4 per cent. The miscellaneous subsector led the growth as it climbed 3.1 per cent to its highest level in seven months. The personal and household goods subsector gained 2.3 per cent. In volume terms, wholesale sales were up 0.4 per cent.
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