Above-Normal Hurricane Season Coming To Canada: Canadian Hurricane Centre

HALIFAX — Warm water temperatures and a weak or non-existent El Nino will contribute to an above-normal hurricane season this year, the Canadian Hurricane Centre said Thursday.

Bob Robichaud, a meteorologist at the Halifax-based centre, said figures released by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicted 11 to 17 named storms, with five to nine expected to become hurricanes and two to four expected to become major in force.

Robichaud said an average of 35 to 40 per cent of storms that form in the Atlantic Basin actually make it into the centre’s Canadian response zone, meaning anywhere from four to six storms could affect Canada this year.

But Robichaud stressed: “It only takes that one storm to make it a bad year, regardless of the number of storms.”

Strong El Nino can suppress hurricanes

That means Atlantic Canadians should always prepare for the worst by having an emergency kit ready and creating a family plan, he said.

One factor contributing to the active hurricane season is above-normal water temperatures in the Atlantic in the last six weeks, said Robichaud.

He said there is a chance of El Nino conditions this year, but it’s uncertain whether those conditions will be reached by peak hurricane season during August, September and October.

A strong El Nino — the warming of waters in the Pacific Ocean — can suppress hurricanes in the Atlantic.

spaceHurricane seen from space.

Hurricane seasons tend to be quieter in years with a strong El Nino and more active in years with La Nina conditions — like in 2016.

“The key thing here is the uncertainty in the El Nino,” said Robichaud.

More from HuffPost Canada

• Canadian Summer Weather Will Feel Like A Teeter-Totter: Meteorologist

Hurricane season runs from June 1 until the end of November, and there has already been one named storm this year.

A rare April tropical storm named Arlene formed over open ocean, but was no threat to land. The next tropical storm will be named Bret.

4 major hurricanes last year

Robichaud said the Atlantic region has been in an “active period” for hurricanes since 1995. He said active periods can last up to 30 years, but it’s not clear whether we’re currently leaving an active period or still in it.

“We went three years with either average or below average numbers, and then last year — boom — they’re above average again,” said Robichaud.

Last year there were 15 named storms, seven of which reached hurricane status, with four of those reaching major hurricane status. A typical year has 12 storms, six hurricanes and three major hurricanes.

However, the centre has said in the past that those numbers can be misleading. They have argued that the number of storms forming over the Atlantic has no connection with the impact on Central and Eastern Canada.

The centre issued bulletins on six storms in 2016, but only three actually made it into the Canadian response zone.

Robichaud said a separate system pulled moisture from Matthew up to the region, causing extensive heavy rainfall and subsequent flooding in eastern Nova Scotia and Newfoundland.

Go to Source

New rules aim to cut methane emissions in Canada’s oil, gas sector

New rules to reduce methane emissions from Canada’s energy sector will cost the industry an estimated $3.3-billion over the next two decades, and will hit conventional oil and natural-gas producers the most dramatically.

But federal officials also say that the value of conserved gas from 2018 to 2035, as a result of the regulatory changes, could total $1.6-billion – alongside billions saved in avoiding costs related to climate-change damage. The draft rules for the oil and gas sector, released on Thursday, are part of Ottawa’s climate-change plan that includes a goal of reducing methane emissions by 40 to 45 per cent from 2012 levels by 2025.

The government argues that working to reduce methane emissions from leaky equipment or reducing gas venting is the low-hanging fruit as Canada works to mitigate climate change. It costs less to reduce potent methane emissions compared with other greenhouse gases. And most methane emissions from the oil and gas industry are not subject to the provincial and federal carbon-tax regimes designed to prompt GHG reductions – which is why the government is instead moving to set hard and fast regulations in this area.

“This is a huge opportunity to be more efficient,” said Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna as she announced the new rules at a Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) lab Thursday.

Methane is the colourless, odourless main component of natural gas, used to heat homes and run industrial factories. The oil and gas industry produces about 44 per cent of Canada’s methane emissions – with methane as a whole representing 15 per cent of Canada’s GHG emissions. Ottawa is proposing rules regarding equipment leaks, venting, pneumatic devices, compressors and well completions.

Speaking after the announcement on Thursday, Shell Canada president Michael Crothers said the company supports controls on methane emissions, and has long had voluntary leak detection and repair programs in place at its Alberta and B.C. operations. But “maintaining cost competitiveness” remains an issue, he added.

While the Trump administration in the United States continues to move to loosen environmental rules – including those related to methane emissions – Canada is enacting a wide swath of measures to combat climate change. In the industry, there are concerns the differences between the two countries could render the Canadian oil and gas sector less competitive.

Last month, it became clear that the timeline for full implementation of the new methane regulations had been pushed back to 2023, instead of 2020 – mostly in response to industry concerns about competitiveness. But in the end, Ms. McKenna said Thursday, oil and gas producers will still have to enact the changes before the 2025 target.

The minister said the new rules will actually help Canada be more competitive, by encouraging innovation. She said a few U.S. states already have much stricter methane-emission controls.

But Terry Abel, executive vice-president of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, said Canadian oil and gas firms are already achieving better outcomes than many U.S. counterparts. He added that the Canadian sector was on track through technology and other measures to achieve major methane reductions by 2025. Ottawa’s detailed rules released Thursday are too prescriptive, he said.

“We’re concerned, and we’re interested in further discussion,” Mr. Abel said. “The details that you see today, perhaps we don’t agree they are all necessary to achieve that same reduction.”

The Pembina Institute, an environmental think tank, said the rules are important for Canada to meet its international climate-change obligations, including the Paris agreement. It would like to see faster implementation timelines for the regulations.

The new rules will cover more than 95 per cent of oil and gas-industry methane emission sources, according to government officials. At the same time, the government has proposed new regulations to curb the release of volatile organic compounds from oil and gas sites, including petrochemical facilities, refineries and oil-sands upgraders.



Report Typo/Error

Follow on Twitter: @KellyCryderman

Go to Source

CANADA STOCKS-TSX dips as oil price drop offsets bank earnings

(Adds portfolio manager quotes and details on energy stocks,
updates prices)

* TSX closes down 8.76 points, or 0.06 percent, at 15,410.73

* Energy falls 2.5 percent

* Just three of the TSX’s 10 main groups end lower

By Fergal Smith

TORONTO, May 25 Canada’s main stock index dipped
on Thursday as a plunge in oil prices weighed on energy shares,
offsetting gains for industrials and financials after quarterly
earnings from some major banks impressed investors.

U.S. crude prices settled $2.46 lower at $48.90 a
barrel after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting
Countries’ decision to extend production curbs fell short of
expectations of deeper or longer cuts.

“Regardless of what OPEC does, U.S. shale producers can
produce at these prices or lower, so that is going to continue
to put an upward cap on the energy price,” said Mike Archibald,
associate portfolio manager at AGF Investments.

Canadian Natural Resources Ltd fell 2.0 percent to
C$40.21, while the overall energy group tumbled 2.5 percent. The
group has lost nearly 18 percent since posting a 19-month high
in December.

The sector is cheap but needs a more sustainable upswing in
the price of oil to attract investors, particularly U.S. money
managers, Archibald said.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index
closed down 8.76 points, or 0.06 percent, at
15,410.73. Just three of the index’s 10 main groups ended lower.

Industrials rose 1.2 percent as railroad stocks climbed,
while the financials group, which accounts for a third of the
index’s weight, gained 0.3 percent.

The country’s biggest bank, Royal Bank of Canada,
rose 0.8 percent to C$93.74 after reporting an 11 percent profit
increase, beating market forecasts, on strong performances in
its capital markets and wealth management businesses.

Canada’s second-largest lender, Toronto-Dominion Bank
, was up 1.5 percent at C$64.01. Its earnings also
exceeded expectations, helped by a strong performance at its
retail and investment banking businesses.

But No. 5 bank Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce
fell 1.0 percent to C$105.24 after reporting a softer beat than
its two larger peers.

“What you are seeing out of the broader bank reports in the
last couple of days is that loan loss provisions continue to be
in a solid position,” said Archibald.

Manulife Financial Corp, Canada’s biggest life
insurer, was up 0.6 percent at C$23.69 after it named Roy Gori,
an executive from its Asia division, to replace the retiring
Donald Guloien as chief executive officer.

Forestry products company Tembec Inc jumped 41.4
percent to C$4.17 after accepting a buyout offer from Rayonier
Advanced Materials Inc for C$4.05 a share.
(Additional reporting by Alastair Sharp; Editing by Lisa Von
Ahn and Tom Brown)

Canada Banks See Mortgage Growth Slow Amid Measures (Correct)

(Bloomberg) — Canadian mortgage growth is slowing as the country’s policy makers step up efforts to cool overheated housing markets in Vancouver and Toronto.

With four of Canada’s biggest banks reporting second-quarter results, the trend shows decelerating growth in home loan portfolios and, in some cases, shrinkage. It’s a welcome sign for officials struggling to curb house prices in two of the nation’s largest cities. The easing follows federal government moves in October to tighten mortgage insurance rules and other measures while opening the door to shift risks of defaulting mortgages to banks.

“It’s not that we’re pulling back, it’s just that the market is slowing a little bit and part of that is the supply in the market was lower,” Royal Bank of Canada Chief Financial Officer Rod Bolger said Thursday in a telephone interview.

Royal Bank, the biggest domestic mortgage lender, said average home loan balances rose 5.5 percent to C$224.1 billion ($166.5 billion) from a year earlier, its slowest annual growth since the first quarter of 2015.

Toronto-Dominion Bank and Bank of Montreal saw their mortgage portfolios shrink from the previous quarter for the first time in years. TD’s home loan balances slipped 0.4 percent to C$187.5 billion, the first sequential contraction in two years. Home loan balances were up 1.2 percent from the same period last year — the slowest annual growth in at least four years.

Toronto-Dominion is seeing the effects of “de-emphasizing” some parts of its mortgage business, including reducing purchases of private-label originations, CFO Riaz Ahmed said in an interview. He also said the country’s residential property market appears to be moderating.

See also: Toronto real estate bidding wars turn to buyers’ remorse

“In the last two weeks of April or so, we did begin to see some cooling in the housing market as sales activity slowed and more supply came to the market,” Ahmed said. “We are happy with that because that’s generally good for Canada and our customers.”

Bank of Montreal’s domestic mortgage book also contracted for the first time in two years, with average balances in the quarter slipping about 0.1 percent to C$98.3 billion from three months earlier, according to financial statements by the Toronto-based lender. Bank of Montreal, which has the smallest share of the domestic market among Canada’s five largest lenders, said home loan balances rose 5.2 percent from a year earlier, the slowest annual growth in three quarters.

“There is a little bit of seasonality in the second quarter,” CFO Thomas Flynn said Wednesday in a phone interview. “It’s not as active of a mortgage season for us, and it’s also a slightly shorter quarter.”

Toronto Prices

Toronto home prices slowed in the first two weeks of May, according to the city’s real estate board, after climbing 25 percent in April from a year earlier and 33 percent in March. Last month, Ontario’s government announced plans for a 15 percent tax on foreign buyers, following similar measures enacted in British Columbia in August.

“We do expect growth in mortgages over the next few years to be somewhat lower than it has been over the last five years,” Flynn said. “That’s just reflecting the expectation that the market will continue to be stable but will cool somewhat.”

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce was an outlier among the lenders, with mortgage balances jumping 12 percent from a year earlier thanks in part to the firm’s efforts to ramp up a mobile mortgage sales force to about 1,200 advisers.

“It’s a strong part of our business, and something that we focus on,” CFO Kevin Glass said in an interview. “We’re not compromising anything in terms of our growth. We like the business and it provides a very good return on capital.”

See also: In Home Capital’s mortgage mess, blame the ‘unlucky’ broker

(Updates with executives’ comments from third paragraph.)

©2017 Bloomberg L.P.

Canada Banks See Mortgage Growth Slow as Nation Taps Brakes (1)

(Bloomberg) — Canadian mortgage growth is slowing as the country’s policy makers step up efforts to cool overheated housing markets in Vancouver and Toronto.

With four of Canada’s biggest banks reporting second-quarter results, the trend shows decelerating growth in home loan portfolios and, in some cases, shrinkage. It’s a welcome sign for officials struggling to curb house prices in two of the nation’s largest cities. The easing follows federal government moves in October to tighten mortgage insurance rules and other measures while opening the door to shift risks of defaulting mortgages to banks.

“It’s not that we’re pulling back, it’s just that the market is slowing a little bit and part of that is the supply in the market was lower,” Royal Bank of Canada Chief Financial Officer Rod Bolger said Thursday in a telephone interview.

Royal Bank, the biggest domestic mortgage lender, said average home loan balances rose 5.5 percent to C$224.1 billion ($166.5 billion) from a year earlier, its slowest annual growth since the first quarter of 2015.

Toronto-Dominion Bank and Bank of Montreal saw their mortgage portfolios shrink from the previous quarter for the first time in years. TD’s home loan balances slipped 0.4 percent to C$187.5 billion, the first sequential contraction in two years. Home loan balances were up 1.2 percent from the same period last year — the slowest annual growth in at least four years.

Toronto-Dominion is seeing the effects of “de-emphasizing” some parts of its mortgage business, including reducing purchases of private-label originations, CFO Riaz Ahmed said in an interview. He also said the country’s residential property market appears to be moderating.

See also: Toronto real estate bidding wars turn to buyers’ remorse

“In the last two weeks of April or so, we did begin to see some cooling in the housing market as sales activity slowed and more supply came to the market,” Ahmed said. “We are happy with that because that’s generally good for Canada and our customers.”

Bank of Montreal’s domestic mortgage book also contracted for the first time in two years, with average balances in the quarter slipping about 0.1 percent to C$98.3 billion from three months earlier, according to financial statements by the Toronto-based lender. Bank of Montreal, which has the smallest share of the domestic market among Canada’s five largest lenders, said home loan balances rose 5.2 percent from a year earlier, the slowest annual growth in three quarters.

“There is a little bit of seasonality in the second quarter,” CFO Thomas Flynn said Wednesday in a phone interview. “It’s not as active of a mortgage season for us, and it’s also a slightly shorter quarter.”

Toronto Prices

Toronto home prices slowed in the first two weeks of May, according to the city’s real estate board, after climbing 25 percent in April from a year earlier and 33 percent in March. Last month, Ontario’s government announced plans for a 15 percent tax on foreign buyers, following similar measures enacted in British Columbia in August.

“We do expect growth in mortgages over the next few years to be somewhat lower than it has been over the last five years,” Flynn said. “That’s just reflecting the expectation that the market will continue to be stable but will cool somewhat.”

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce was an outlier among the lenders, with mortgage balances jumping 12 percent from a year earlier thanks in part to the firm’s efforts to ramp up a mobile mortgage sales force to about 1,200 advisers.

“It’s a strong part of our business, and something that we focus on,” CFO Kevin Glass said in an interview. “We’re not compromising anything in terms of our growth. We like the business and it provides a very good return on capital.”

See also: In Home Capital’s mortgage mess, blame the ‘unlucky’ broker

(Updates with executives’ comments from third paragraph.)

©2017 Bloomberg L.P.

CANADA STOCKS-TSX rises, boosted by earnings beats for big banks

(Adds details on specific stocks, updates prices)

* TSX rises 64.37 points, or 0.42 percent, to 15,483.86

* Six of TSX’s 10 main groups move higher; financials up 0.8
pct

TORONTO, May 25 Canada’s main stock index rose
in early trading on Thursday, boosted by sharp gains for shares
of major banks whose quarterly earnings impressed investors.

The country’s biggest bank, Royal Bank of Canada,
rose 1.3 percent to C$94.22 after reporting an 11 percent profit
increase, beating market forecasts, on strong performances in
its capital markets and wealth management businesses.

Canada’s second-largest lender, Toronto-Dominion Bank
, was up 2.2 percent at C$64.45. Its earnings also
exceeded expectations, helped by a strong performance at its
retail and investment banking businesses.

No. 5 bank Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce
slipped 0.1 percent to C$106.15 after reporting a softer beat
than its two larger peers.

At 10:12 a.m. ET (1412 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s
S&P/TSX composite index was up 64.37 points, or 0.42
percent, at 15,483.86.

Six of the index’s 10 main sectors were higher, with five
gainers for every two decliners overall.

The financials group, which accounts for a third of the
index’s weight, rose 0.8 percent.

Manulife Financial Corp, Canada’s biggest life
insurer, was up 1 percent at C$23.77 after it named Roy Gori, an
executive from its Asia division, to replace the retiring Donald
Guloien as chief executive officer.

Forestry products company Tembec Inc jumped 40.7
percent to C$4.15 after accepting a buyout offer from Rayonier
Advanced Materials Inc for C$4.05 a share.

The energy group gained 0.7 percent after a delegate of the
Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said the
producer group had decided to extend cuts in oil output to March
2018.
(Reporting by Alastair Sharp; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)

Canada Banks See Mortgage Growth Slow Amid Government Measures

(Bloomberg) — Canadian mortgage growth is slowing as the country’s policy makers step up efforts to cool overheated housing markets in Vancouver and Toronto.

With four of Canada’s biggest banks reporting second-quarter results, the trend shows decelerating growth in home loan portfolios and, in some cases, shrinkage. It’s a welcome sign for officials struggling to curb house prices in two of the nation’s largest cities. The easing follows federal government moves in October to tighten mortgage insurance rules and other measures while opening the door to shift risks of defaulting mortgages to banks.

“It’s not that we’re pulling back, it’s just that the market is slowing a little bit and part of that is the supply in the market was lower,” Royal Bank of Canada Chief Financial Officer Rod Bolger said Thursday in a telephone interview.

Royal Bank, the biggest domestic mortgage lender, said average home loan balances rose 5.5 percent to C$224.1 billion ($166.5 billion) from a year earlier, its slowest annual growth since the first quarter of 2015.

Toronto-Dominion Bank and Bank of Montreal saw their mortgage portfolios shrink from the previous quarter for the first time in years. TD’s home loan balances slipped 0.4 percent to C$187.5 billion, the first sequential contraction in two years. Home loan balances were up 1.2 percent from the same period last year — the slowest annual growth in at least four years.

Toronto-Dominion is seeing the effects of “de-emphasizing” some parts of its mortgage business, including reducing purchases of private-label originations, CFO Riaz Ahmed said in an interview. He also said the country’s residential property market appears to be moderating.

See also: Toronto real estate bidding wars turn to buyers’ remorse

“In the last two weeks of April or so, we did begin to see some cooling in the housing market as sales activity slowed and more supply came to the market,” Ahmed said. “We are happy with that because that’s generally good for Canada and our customers.”

Bank of Montreal’s domestic mortgage book also contracted for the first time in two years, with average balances in the quarter slipping about 0.1 percent to C$98.3 billion from three months earlier, according to financial statements by the Toronto-based lender. Bank of Montreal, which has the smallest share of the domestic market among Canada’s five largest lenders, said home loan balances rose 5.2 percent from a year earlier, the slowest annual growth in three quarters.

“There is a little bit of seasonality in the second quarter,” CFO Thomas Flynn said Wednesday in a phone interview. “It’s not as active of a mortgage season for us, and it’s also a slightly shorter quarter.”

Toronto Prices

Toronto home prices slowed in the first two weeks of May, according to the city’s real estate board, after climbing 25 percent in April from a year earlier and 33 percent in March. Last month, Ontario’s government announced plans for a 15 percent tax on foreign buyers, following similar measures enacted in British Columbia in August.

“We do expect growth in mortgages over the next few years to be somewhat lower than it has been over the last five years,” Flynn said. “That’s just reflecting the expectation that the market will continue to be stable but will cool somewhat.”

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce was an outlier among the lenders, with mortgage balances jumping 12 percent from a year earlier thanks in part to the firm’s efforts to ramp up a mobile mortgage sales force to about 1,200 advisers.

“It’s a strong part of our business, and something that we focus on,” CFO Kevin Glass said in an interview. “We’re not compromising anything in terms of our growth. We like the business and it provides a very good return on capital.”

See also: In Home Capital’s mortgage mess, blame the ‘unlucky’ broker

(Updates with executives’ comments from third paragraph.)

©2017 Bloomberg L.P.

Canadian insurer Manulife names Asia head Roy Gori CEO

(Adds analyst quote, shares)

Gori, who joined Manulife from Citi in early 2015, will
assume his new role on Oct. 1, the company said on Thursday.

Guloien, who has worked with Manulife for more than 36
years, including eight as CEO, will retire.

Gori’s appointment comes at a time when the company is
expanding in Asia as the region’s burgeoning middle class looks
to save and invest.

Strong sales in the region helped the company report a rise
in first-quarter earnings earlier this month.

“Although Mr. Guloien’s departure is disappointing, given
the strong replacement and ample transitory period we do not
anticipate any material changes in the business or strategy in
the near term,” Barclays analyst John Aiken wrote in a note.

Manulife also said on Thursday that Craig Bromley, senior
executive vice president and general manager of the company’s
U.S. Division (John Hancock), has left the company.

Aiken termed Bromley’s departure “unexpected”.

The company’s shares were up 1.2 percent at C$23.81 on the
Toronto Stock Exchange.
(Reporting by Ahmed Farhatha in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj
Kalluvila)

CANADA STOCKS-Futures gain as Fed signals caution on rate hikes

Policymakers agreed on Wednesday that they should hold off
on increasing rates until it was clear a recent slowdown in the
U.S. economy was temporary, though most said a hike was coming
soon.

June futures on the S&P TSX index were up 0.20
percent at 7:15 a.m. ET.

Canada’s main stock index lost ground on Wednesday, weighed
by a sharp fall in shares of Bank of Montreal after it
reported disappointing earnings, with investors also shying away
from other major banks ahead of their quarterly results.

Dow Jones Industrial Average e-mini futures were up
0.32 percent at 7:15 a.m. ET, while S&P 500 e-mini futures
were up 0.26 percent and Nasdaq 100 e-mini futures
were up 0.34 percent.

(Morning News Call newsletter here
; The Day Ahead newsletter here)

TOP STORIES

Royal Bank of Canada reported an 11 percent increase
in second-quarter earnings, beating market forecasts, helped by
a strong performance in its capital markets and wealth
management businesses.

Toronto-Dominion Bank reported second-quarter
results which were ahead of market expectations, helped by a
strong performance at its retail and investment banking
businesses.

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Canada’s
fifth-biggest lender, reported a better-than-expected
second-quarter profit, helped by growth across its businesses.

ANALYST RESEARCH HIGHLIGHTS

Dollarama Inc: RBC raises target price to C$138
from C$133

Bank of Montreal: CIBC cuts target price to C$105
from C$109

Prairiesky Royalty Ltd: RBC raises target price to
C$38 from C$34

COMMODITIES AT 7:15 a.m. ET

Gold futures: $1,258.3; +0.47 pct

US crude: $50.61; -1,46 pct

Brent crude: $53.31; -1.2 pct

LME 3-month copper: $5,687.50; +0.1 pct

U.S. ECONOMIC DATA DUE ON THURSDAY

08:30 Advance goods trade balance for April: Prior -64.23
bln

08:30 Advance Wholesale Inventory for April: Prior 0.2

08:30 Advance Retail Inventory Ex Auto for April: Prior 0.3

08:30 Initial jobless claims: Expected 238,000; Prior
232,000

08:30 Jobless Claims 4-week Average: Prior 240,750

08:30 Continued jobless claims: Expected 1.925 mln; Prior
1.898 mln

11:00 KC Fed Manufacturing for May: Prior 12

11:00 KC Fed Composite Index for May: Prior 7

FOR CANADIAN MARKETS NEWS, CLICK ON CODES:

TSX market report

Canadian dollar and bonds report

Reuters global stocks poll for Canada

Canadian markets directory
($1= C$1.34)
(Reporting by Sai Sharanya Khosla in Bengaluru; Editing by
Sriraj Kalluvila)