The Daily Chase: Airline bailout speculation ramps up; Alberta ending oil production curbs

Noah Zivitz

Managing Editor, BNN Bloomberg

|Archive

Oct 23, 2020

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The era of government-mandated curbs on oil production is ending in Alberta. The province announced Friday morning it will unshackle the industry from limits on its output starting in December. The announcement comes almost two years after the clampdown was initially imposed by then-premier Rachel Notley amid worries about a shortage glut. But now, COVID-19 is upending the market and convincing the provincial government to switch gears. 

AIRLINE BAILOUT SPECULATION

Speculation about a potential bailout package for Canada's airlines is ramping up this morning after The Globe and Mail reported the federal cabinet is mulling targeted aid for the industry -- with low interest loans, airport-fee relief, and direct equity investments (although not for the largest airlines) on the table. That's all according to unidentified sources, and it comes less than 24 hours after Industry Minister Navdeep Bains told our David George-Cosh during a media availability that "all options" are being considered. We'll evaluate how soon the aid is needed to avoid more cuts and whether there are any poison pills for the industry if the government attaches conditions to its offer.

TRUMP TOUTS IMMINENT VACCINE

U.S. President Donald Trump stoked anticipation for a COVID-19 vaccine early in last night’s final presidential debate ahead of the Nov. 3 elections. “We have a vaccine that’s coming. It’s ready. It’s going to be ready within weeks,” he said – prompting moderator Kristen Welker to press him for details. To which he specifically touted the pipeline of vaccines being developed by Johnson & Johnson, Moderna and Pfizer. We’ll chase biotech and medical industry experts to stress test Trump’s claims. Standing opposite the president, meanwhile, Joe Biden told Americans to brace themselves for a “dark winter”.    

CANFOR RIDES HOME-BUYING, RENO BOOM

The third quarter was very good to Canfor, with record profit in its lumber operations amid a 33-per-cent surge in U.S. housing starts and what the company described as “strength in the repair and remodeling sector”. Canfor shares have soared almost 170 per cent since late March.

OTHER NOTABLE STORIES

-Intel shares have been down almost 10 per cent in pre-market trading after a messy third quarter, with profit dropping 29 per cent while gross margins disappointed. Revenue in the chip maker's data center group was held back by a 47 per cent tumble in the enterprise and government segment.

-It’s the end of the line for Le Chateau. The retailer announced this morning it’s filing for creditor protection and planning to liquidate its assets. The company has 123 stores and 1,400 employees.

-Shares of Gilead Sciences have been up more than five per cent in early trading after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced the company’s remdesivir antiviral drug has been approved for general use in the treatment of COVID-19 among hospitalized Americans aged 12+.

NOTABLE RELEASES/EVENTS

-Notable data: Canadian manufacturing sales flash estimate

-Notable earnings: American Express

-11:30 a.m. ET: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau makes announcement in Ottawa alongside Treasury Board President Jean-Yves Duclos, Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc, Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam, Deputy Chief Public Health Officer Howard Njoo

-iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro become available

Every morning BNN Bloomberg's Managing Editor Noah Zivitz writes a ‘chase note’ to BNN Bloomberg's editorial staff listing the stories and events that will be in the spotlight that day. Have it delivered to your inbox before the trading day begins by heading to www.bnnbloomberg.ca/subscribe.