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Noah Zivitz

Managing Editor, BNN Bloomberg

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Home sales tumbled 41.4 per cent year-over-year last month in the country’s largest market as rising interest rates continued to decimate activity. The Toronto Regional Real Estate Board’s data also show the average selling price fell sequentially for the fourth consecutive month, making February’s record of $1,334,544 feel like ancient history. We’ve got all the details at BNNBloomberg.ca, and we’ll speak with BMO Capital Markets Senior Economist Robert Kavcic at 9:40 a.m. about what to expect in the months ahead as the Bank of Canada continues ratcheting up rates in its fight against inflation. 

MARKETS LOOK FOR DIRECTION

U.S. futures have been wobbling this morning after yesterday’s remarkable session that saw the S&P 500 close with a tiny gain after being down almost 2.2 per cent in the morning. Recession worries are running rampant — unless you’re Brian Belski, the chief investment strategist at BMO Capital Markets who was sounding like a lonely bull when he chatted with Jacqueline shortly after yesterday’s closing bells. Today, the main event is likely to be minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve’s last meeting, which will land at 2 p.m. ET.        

DEAD-END MEDIATION FOR $20B SHAW TAKEOVER

Rogers Communications and Shaw Communications said this morning their mediation with the Competition Commissioner ended yesterday without resolving the watchdog’s objections to their planned $20-billion tie-up. So the regulatory review process will continue, which could eventually lead to a quasi-judicial hearing before the Competition Tribunal. Reminder that the deal also still requires the industry minister’s approval.

BIG FORESTRY DEAL

The Paper Excellence Group announced this morning that its Domtar subsidiary will acquire Resolute Forest Products (previously known as AbitibiBowater) for US$20.50 per share, representing a 64 per cent premium to Resolute’s closing value yesterday on the New York Stock Exchange. The deal structure gets a bit complicated because of a contingent value right tied to future refunds on U.S. softwood duties. We’re aiming to speak with principals.

OTHER NOTABLE STORIES

  • Beleaguered crypto platform Voyager Digital announced early this morning it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the United States so it can restructure itself. Voyager has been in financial turmoil of late due to its ties to a crypto hedge fund called Three Arrows Capital, not to mention the broader market volatility. It suspended trading, deposits, and withdrawals last Friday.
  • OPEC Secretary-General Mohammad Barkindo has passed away at the age of 63. The group of influential oil-producing nations issued a statement saluting Barkindo’s work.
  • A spokesperson for Shopify said the company is proceeding with a plan to change its compensation structure this fall “when it’s fully ready.” Earlier, The Globe and Mail reported the Shopify was delaying the rollout (designed to give staff more flexibility choosing between cash and stock for their comp) after previously reporting it would take effect in July.
  • Ovintiv announced this morning it has agreed to sell some of its assets in the Bakken and Uinta basins for US$250 million. So now it’s fast-tracking a plan to double its return of cash to shareholders as of the third quarter – and likely in the form of buybacks. Previously, Ovintiv was planning to ramp up its wealth-sharing as of Oct. 1.

NOTABLE RELEASES/EVENTS

  • Notable data: ISM U.S. services index
  • Toronto Regional Real Estate Board releases June sales data
  • 900: Parliamentary Budget Officer releases costing note "Increasing access to the small business tax rate″
  • 1400: U.S. Federal Reserve releases minutes from last meeting (1400)
  • 1330: Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland holds media avail in Grimsby, Ont., after meeting with Laborers’ International Union of North America members