Today’s news: Trending business stories for January 4, 2024

The latest business news as it happens

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Rogers to hike cellphone prices this month for customers not on contracts

Some cellphone customers with Rogers Communications Inc. will pay more for their plans starting later this month.

The company said price hikes for customers who are not locked into a contract will range from under $7 on the low end to upwards of $9 per month, depending on their individual plan. The move will take effect on bills received after Jan. 17.

Rogers spokesman Cam Gordon said the company is committed to delivering “the highest standard of quality and reliability” which includes more capacity, expansion of its network into more communities and improved customer service.

He notes recent announcements by Rogers to increase affordability, such as the introduction of its discounted 5G plan for eligible low-income Canadians and a move in May of last year to halve the price per gigabyte of data on its most popular 5G plan.

Following Rogers’ $26-billion takeover of Shaw Communications Inc. last April, the company’s chief executive Tony Staffieri said at the time that the deal and its associated conditions were designed to increase competition and that “prices are going to come down.”

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Spokespersons for BCE Inc. and Telus Corp. did not immediately respond to requests for comment on whether they plan to hike phone plan costs, while Quebecor Inc. says there is a price freeze for customers with its Freedom Mobile, Videotron and Fizz brands.

Read the full story.

The Canadian Press

4:38 p.m.

Market close: TSX posts small gain, U.S. markets mixed

stock chart

Canada’s main stock index posted a small gain despite weakness in energy stocks, while U.S. markets ended the day mixed.

The S&P/TSX composite index closed up 52.77 points at 20,871.35.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 10.15 points at 37,440.34. The S&P 500 index was down 16.13 points at 4,688.68, while the Nasdaq composite was down 81.91 points at 14,510.30.

The Canadian dollar traded for 74.88 cents U.S. compared with 74.87 cents U.S. on Wednesday.

The February crude contract was down 51 cents at US$72.19 per barrel and the February natural gas contract was up 15 cents at US$2.82 per mmBTU.

The February gold contract was up US$7.20 at US$2,050.00 an ounceand the March copper contract was down two cents at US$3.84 a pound.

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The Canadian Press

2:43 p.m.

Parkland’s largest shareholder resigns seats on board

Parkland Burnaby Refinery on Burrard Inlet at sunset in Burnaby, B.C.
A boat travels past the Parkland Burnaby Refinery on Burrard Inlet at sunset in Burnaby, B.C. Photo by DARRYL DYCK/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Parkland Corp.’s largest shareholder will no longer have a seat on the fuel retailer’s board after the recent resignation of two board members.

The Calgary-based company announced on Dec. 31 the resignations of Simpson Oil nominees Michael Christiansen and Marc Halley from Parkland’s board of directors.

Parkland also says it is in discussions with Simpson about its shareholding in the company.

Simpson Oil is headquartered in the Cayman Islands and has been a Parkland shareholder since 2017.

Since 2022, when Parkland consolidated its ownership of Sol, a Caribbean fuel retailer formerly owned by Simpson Oil, Simpson has owned about 20 per cent of Parkland shares.

Going forward, Simpson Oil has waived its previously agreed-upon right to nominate two members to Parkland’s board.

The Canadian Press

12:44 p.m.

Midday markets: Wall Street claws back losses, TSX rises

Stock market chart

Treasury yields rose while stocks on Wall Street clawed back gains after robust jobs data sparked doubts about how soon and deeply the United States Federal Reserve could start cutting interest rates.

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The Nasdaq 100 fluctuated after climbing earlier in the session. It was down 0.24 per cent at 12:48 p.m. Eastern Time. The S&P 500 was up 0.11 per cent while the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.26 per cent.

Ten-year Treasuries extended declines with the yield rising toward four per cent after data showed U.S. companies ramped up hiring in December and jobless claims came in below estimates. Swaps traders trimmed their bets on Fed easing after the data.

In Canada, the S&P/TSX composite index was up 0.33 per cent, helped by strength in financial, technology and industrial stocks.

Bloomberg, The Canadian Press

11:31 a.m.

Teck Resources’ Quebrada Blanca mine misses 2023 guidance

Teck Resources' Quebrada Blanca mine
Teck Resources Ltd. says production for 2023 at its Quebrada Blanca mine fell short of the bottom end of its guidance. Photo by Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press

Teck Resources Ltd. says production for 2023 at its Quebrada Blanca mine fell short of its guidance due to reliability and consistency issues in the fourth quarter.

The Vancouver-based miner says copper production from QB, excluding copper cathode, totalled 56,200 tonnes compared with the bottom end of its guidance range for 80,000 tonnes for 2023. Fourth quarter production was 35,000 tonnes.

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Teck says its focus in the fourth quarter was on achieving reliable and consistent operations at QB, but that it took longer than expected. It added that the operations were working near design capacity by the end of December.

On the steelmaking coal side of its operations, Teck says sales in the fourth quarter totalled 6.1 million tonnes, near the top end of its guidance.

Teck’s realized steelmaking coal price in the fourth quarter averaged US$270 per tonne.

The company is expected to provide its full 2023 production results and 2024 guidance on Jan. 16 and report its fourth-quarter financial results on Feb. 21.

The Canadian Press

10:57 a.m.

Another major Gildan investor backs push to change board

Gildan lable on a T-shirt
An investor fight over the Gildan board has ramped up. Photo by Graham Hughes/Bloomberg

Canadian investment firm Turtle Creek Asset Management Inc. is backing another shareholder’s push to change the board of Gildan Activewear Inc., saying the company needs a “swift resolution” to the battle over who should be chief executive.

Turtle Creek, one of Gildan’s largest investors, plans to vote for a slate of five new directors proposed last week by Los Angeles-based money manager Browning West LP.

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The two firms, along with several others including Jarislowsky Fraser Ltd., are angry that the Gildan board sacked longtime chief executive Glenn Chamandy in December. Browning West says it plans to force a shareholder meeting to vote on a new board.

“The board’s reckless and ill-conceived termination of CEO Glenn Chamandy alienated long-time shareholders and exposed Gildan to significant risks including a loss of essential leadership, damaged employee morale, and threatened key customer relationships,” Turtle Creek said in a statement Thursday.


10:01 a.m.

Markets open: Wall Street mixed, TSX up

Wall Street sign in New York
A street sign is seen in front of the New York Stock Exchange in New York. Photo by Seth Wenig/THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Wall Street is drifting Thursday following signals that the United States job market remains solid, though it may be a touch too strong.

The S&P 500 was virtually unchanged in early trading and on track for its first losing week in the last 10. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.5 per cent, as of 10:10 a.m. Eastern time, while the Nasdaq composite was 0.11 per cent lower — putting the tech-heavy benchmark on track for its fifth day of declines and its longest losing streak in over a year.

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Apple Inc. dipped after its second downgrade this week as Piper Sandler flagged concern about iPhone inventory levels.

The S&P/TSX composite index was up 0.22 per cent, after closing down for the first two days of the new trading year.

Stocks have broadly regressed this week after rallying powerfully into the end of last year. Critics said the market was due for at least a breather following the big run, which fed on hopes that inflation has cooled enough for the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates sharply this year.

Ten-year Treasuries extended declines with the yield rising to 3.99 per cent after data showed U.S. companies ramped up hiring in December and jobless claims came in below estimates. Swaps traders trimmed their bets on Fed easing after the data.

“There was nothing within the data that would suggest any urgency from policymakers to begin normalizing rates lower during the first quarter,” said Ian Lyngen a strategist at BMO Capital Markets.

The Associated Press, Bloomberg

7:30 a.m.

Economy poised for growth later this year, Bank of Canada to cut rates by spring: Deloitte

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Bank of Canada governor Tiff Macklem. Deloitte Canada expects the central bank to begin cutting interest rates this spring.
Bank of Canada governor Tiff Macklem. Deloitte Canada expects the central bank to begin cutting interest rates this spring. Photo by Dave Chan/AFP via Getty Images

The Canadian economy will return to growth in the second half of 2024, with interest rate cuts as early as this spring, Deloitte Canada says.

The firm’s economic outlook report predicts stagnant growth during the first half of the year as the effects of higher interest rates continue to work their way through the system.

The Bank of Canada held its key rate steady at five per cent in December after a heavy-handed hiking campaign to fight inflation.

Deloitte said inflation is still uncomfortably high at 3.1 per cent as of November, but it’s unlikely the central bank will hike rates further.

However, Deloitte Canada chief economist Dawn Desjardins said we shouldn’t expect interest rates to return to their pre-pandemic lows.

Desjardins said momentum in the economy and the job market is poised to improve in the second half of 2024 as confidence starts to recover.

Desjardins spoke with the Financial Post’s Larysa Harapyn in December about the firm’s economic outlook. Watch the interview and read the story here.

More: Interest rate cuts, return to growth on economic horizon, Deloitte says

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The Canadian Press, Financial Post

Stock markets before the opening bell

Stock markets, January 4, 2024

Stocks steadied after a bruising start to the year as investors awaited fresh pointers on the timing of possible interest-rate cuts. Oil continued its surge as conflict in the Middle East added to supply concerns.

United States equity futures climbed and Europe’s Stoxx 600 added 0.4 per cent, supported by oil majors including TotalEnergies SE and BP PLC after crude jumped more than four per cent in two sessions. Bonds fell, with the 10-year Treasury yield up four basis points at 3.95 per cent.

The S&P/TSX composite index closed down 53.56 points at 20,818.58 on Wednesday.


What to watch today

The S&P Global Manufacturing PMI for December will be released this morning. In the United States, expect the latest Challenger layoff report, the ADP national employment report and initial jobless claims.

Wallgreens Boots Alliance Inc. and ConAgra Foods Inc. release earnings today.

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Additional reporting by The Canadian Press, Associated Press and Bloomberg

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