TORONTO — Declining commodity prices pushed the Toronto stock market to a lower close, even as solid U.S. jobs data boosted stocks south of the border.The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index lost 53.92 points to 13,440.44.The commodity-sensitive Canadian dollar also fell, down 0.16 of a U.S. cent at 76.84 cents US.In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 107.66 points at 17,792.75, while the broader S&P 500 added 13.04 points to 2,072.78 and the Nasdaq composite rose 44.69 points to 4,914.54.In commodities, the May contract for benchmark North American crude fell $1.55 to US$36.79 a barrel, while May natural gas was unchanged at US$1.96 per mmBtu.June gold fell $12.10 to US$1,223.50 a troy ounce, while May copper shed two cents to US$2.16 a pound.
by Laura Kane, The Canadian Press Posted Nov 10, 2015 1:00 pm MDT Last Updated Nov 10, 2015 at 7:54 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email No end to sizzling home prices, voracious demand in B.C.: forecast VANCOUVER – A dramatic shift is underway in Metro Vancouver’s housing market as costly detached homes become a “luxury product” out of reach for many families, a new forecast reveals.Central 1 Credit Union predicts that a widening price gap between apartment or condominium units and houses will be “difficult if not impossible to bridge.”“In previous years the housing ladder meant starting in a condo and transitioning to a detached home. That will no longer be the trend,” said senior economist Bryan Yu in a release.“For most families the housing ladder will lead from one multi-family unit to another.”Across British Columbia, home prices and sales will continue to rise for the next two years, the report predicts. Average prices in the province will leap six per cent this year to $425,000, reaching $462,000 by 2017.Median prices for detached Vancouver-area properties are set to shatter the $1-million mark, fuelled by a lack of land and relentless demand.Yu said the dearth of supply of detached homes is likely to continue, underpinned by a land base that is hemmed in by the ocean, the coastal mountains, the U.S. border and an agricultural land reserve.He noted that price momentum in Metro Vancouver has also spilled into the neighbouring Fraser Valley, anchored by Chilliwack and Abbotsford.In contrast, the Alberta recession, a weak mining sector and few available homes will slow — but not cap — demand in B.C.’s Interior, northern B.C. and the Kootenays.Dropping oil prices and energy sector layoffs have led to job cuts for some residents in the Interior and northern B.C. who commute to Alberta’s oilsands for employment, Yu said.“If the market isn’t doing very well (in Alberta), you’re going to see less of that spillover demand for vacation properties or secondary homes in these regions,” he added in an interview.But parts of the Okanagan Valley, including Kelowna, are seeing rebounding house prices after years of stagnation caused by an over-built market.“It’s taken a long time for them to get rid of the excess supply,” he said. “Now that we’re seeing inventories fall off in these areas, we basically have much more balanced conditions.”The financial institution also predicts low mortgage rates will keep sales sizzling. Yu anticipates five-year fixed term rates will remain essentially unchanged through 2016 and will increase marginally to only five per cent by the end of 2017.Vancouver Island markets, especially Victoria, are also strong as the communities are poised to take advantage of the low Canadian dollar and as over-supply has been sold off, Yu said.The forecast notes that B.C.’s economic growth is expected to remain among the highest in the country, which will drive gains in employment and personal income. But a mild slowdown in population growth is also expected, caused by weak trends in international immigration.B.C.’s active housing market — in particular construction, renovation and acquisition-related costs — is expected to lift broader economic growth over the next two years.
A former Winchester College pupil brought a motorway to a 12-hour standstill after he threw a “Molotov cocktail” on to the carriageway, a court heard.Nicholas Elger, 17, threw incendiary devices on to the M3, near Winchester, Hampshire, on two separate occasions, causing a full closure of the road for most of Saturday, Sept 23, last year. It is estimated that the damage to the local economy was £40 million.The former boarding pupil at £38,000-a-year Winchester College, one of the country’s oldest public schools, shoplifted the ingredients for his “Molotov cocktail” and a second petrol bomb on two different occasions from a Tesco supermarket in the Hampshire city.He then used the ingredients to create the incendiary devices, which he threw on to the motorway on Sept 16 and then Sept 23 last year.Winchester Crown Court heard Elger wanted to kill somebody during the second homemade bomb attack.The court was told that a lorry driver saw a flaming device fall in front of him and was able to pull over on to the hard shoulder during the first incident.In the second incident, a motorist said the “carriageway was ablaze with flames around the size of a person” and lasted for about 30 seconds. She was able to stop 200ft (60m) from the fire and used her vehicle to block two lanes. However, a lorry using the third lane continued driving and reignited the flames. The motorway was then closed “for a lengthy period”. Cars were stranded in traffic for several hoursCredit:Jonathon Marks/Twitter/PA Rob Welling, prosecuting said: “Both [incendiary devices] were done in different ways. Why he changed his methods is because he was not satisfied with what took place on the first occasion.” He added: “He does not regret the incident – he does regret not doing them differently and successfully and killing someone.”Elger, of Winchester, also blackmailed the headmaster of Winchester College in June last year, on both occasions demanding 10 Bitcoin, worth around £20,000. He had been stealing from the school before blackmailing college officials, demanding payment for the burglaries to stop.Robert Morris, defending, said: “These offences coincided with problems in the family home. Those problems, though significant, cannot possibly explain the change from a kind pleasant boy to suddenly change into this awful risk taking [person] without thoughts of the consequences of his actions. He has been expelled … he has lost his friends and lost the opportunity to go to a top university which he was on course to do.”Psychiatrists believe he might be suffering from a personality disorder or a psychotic illness.Judge Keith Cutler, who removed reporting restrictions which had protected Elger’s identity, imposed an interim hospital order meaning Elger can continue his psychiatric treatment.He will be sentenced on May 18 and the hospital order reviewed.Elger admitted two charges of arson being reckless as to whether life is endangered and a further 12 charges including eight counts of burglary, two of blackmail with menaces, and two for theft. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.