Global Markets: Oil prices vary in response to global conflict

By MarketsFarm

WINNIPEG, Jan. 9 (MarketsFarm) – The following is a glance at the news moving markets in Canada and globally.

– Oil prices have been volatile over the past week due to increased tensions between the United States and Iran. Earlier in the week, prices took a hit following Iranian missile attacks on American military bases in Iraq. The missile attacks were in response to a U.S. drone strike that killed an Iranian general. Prices have since steadied, but markets remain paralyzed by uncertainty. A prolonged conflict may disrupt oil exports from the region.

– The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation released data showing the pace of housing slowed in December. The agency said the seasonally adjusted annual rate of housing starts totaled 197,329 in December, which is down from 204,320 the month prior. The slowdown was likely due to declines in multiple-unit projects in urban areas. Starts on multiple-unit dwellings in urban areas fell five per cent to 138,049, while urban starts of single-detached homes edged up one per cent to 47,885.

– Filings for unemployment benefits in the U.S. hit a five-week low, according to the latest report from the Department of Labor. Jobless claims dropped by 9,000 to total 214,000 during the week ended Jan. 4. Unemployment filings have been decreasing steadily, indicating a strong labour market. Unemployment filings hit their lowest levels in April 2019.


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