Toronto stock index down on tumbling oil prices as the loonie remains

TORONTO — Tumbling oil prices saw the commodity-heavy Toronto stock index give up some of the week’s gains on Friday ahead of the holiday weekend.The S&P/TSX composite index dropped 47.98 points to 15,728.32, as the November crude contract fell $1.50 to US$49.29 per barrel.It was a wobbly week of fluctuating optimism and pessimism about OPEC oversupply fears.Panic resurfaced on Monday following a report from oilfield services company Baker Hughes that more oil drilling rigs went into operation last week after two weeks of declines, and Reuters reported that output of OPEC nations grew in September.Then earlier on Wednesday, data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration temporarily swayed concerns when it reported that U.S. commercial crude oil inventories decreased by 6.0 million barrels for the week ending Sept. 29. But then later that same day the EIA reported that U.S. crude exports jumped to 1.98 million barrels per day, marking the fourth weekly increase.“People have started to have some second thoughts or doubts about the ability of OPEC to effectively curtail production enough to push crude higher,” said Andrew Pyle, a senior wealth adviser at Scotia Wealth Management. “That will weigh on the markets.”It was last November that OPEC and 10 other oil-producing countries, including Russia, agreed to cut their production until March 2018 in a bid to combat a supply glut and shore up crude prices.Still, Pyle added, “I don’t think the story has really changed for crude oil going into the fourth quarter. We’ve been hovering around the US$50 mark, global growth remains strong.“Yeah, we are seeing U.S. production come back — that’s eating through the export numbers — but the demand side of it really hasn’t changed at all.”Slumping energy stocks also took a toll on U.S. stocks’ record high week on Friday, as Wall Street’s S&P 500 index gave back 2.74 points to 2,545.49 and the Dow Jones industrial average nudged down 1.72 points to 22,773.67.Only the Nasdaq composite index was able to squeak out its sixth consecutive record high, as it added 4.82 points to 6,590.18.In economic news, it was a washout for U.S. jobs growth as employers cut more jobs last month than they added, the first time that’s happened in seven years. Economists, who had been warning of a particularly weak figure in the wake of hurricanes Harvey and Irma, downplayed the report.In Canada, jobs data was far rosier. Statistics Canada said Friday that the labour market posted a 10th-straight month of net job gains in September to match the economy’s longest monthly streak since the financial crisis almost a decade ago. The national unemployment rate stayed at a nine-year low of 6.2 per cent.Experts underlined a lot of positives in the jobs report that arrived amid recent signs suggesting the economy is already starting to cool down, as widely expected, following red-hot start to the year.In currency markets, the Canadian dollar was unchanged, trading at an average price of 79.69 US.Elsewhere in commodities, the November natural gas contract was down six cents at US$2.86 per mmBTU, the December gold contract was up $1.70 to US$1,274.90 an ounce, and the December copper contract dropped two cents to US$3.03 a pound.The TSX will be closed Mon., Oct. 9 for the Thanksgiving holiday. U.S. markets will remain open.Follow @DaveHTO on Twitter read more

55 million babies are born and die each year without being recorded

first_img“In reality, these deaths are nearly all preventable. Counting and naming every newborn is a statement that we expect that baby to survive and receive the care he or she needs, especially around birth,” she said.Newborn deaths now account for a larger proportion of under five child deaths – 44 per cent in 2012, compared to 36 per cent in 1990. In most regions of the world, more than half of child deaths are among newborns.Countries like Germany, the UK and the US are among high income nations showing the slowest progress in reducing their neonatal mortality rates. However it is in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa that there is the highest burden of newborn deaths.Researchers said the greatest opportunity for saving lives is to invest in high impact care during the time just before and immediately after birth. Quality care at birth accounts for 41 per cent of the estimated 3 million lives saved.Family planning services and high coverage of interventions before conception are also key in driving down the number of fatalities.This week, at the World Health Assembly in Geneva, governments will review the Every Newborn Action Plan. The plan is based on a series of measures that are already proving effective in keeping women and children healthy. The authors of the papers said today is an “unprecedented opportunity for progress”.Read: The first baby born in Ireland in 2014 is called…>Read: Nutrition a “desperately neglected” aspect of mother and baby health> EACH YEAR, 5.5 million babies enter and leave the world without being recorded and one in three newborns – that’s over 45 million babies – do not have a birth certificate by their first birthday.Babies who are stillborn, born too early, or who die soon after birth are least likely to be registered, even in high-income countries. Figures show that just three per cent of livebirths are registered by a child’s first birthday.Findings in a series of academic papers published in The Lancet today paint a picture of a newborn’s chance of survival and the steps that need to be taken to end preventable infant deaths. New analyses as part of the papers indicate that three million maternal and newborn deaths and stillbirths can be prevented every year with proven interventions like the promotion of breastfeeding, neonatal resuscitation and prevention and treatment of infections.The research was led by a team in London with collaboration with 55 health experts around the world. Commenting on the findings, Professor Joy Lawn of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine said:Every day, 15,000 babies are born and die without ever receiving a piece of paper. The lack of recording reflects the world’s acceptance that these deaths are inevitable. This fatalism, lack of attention, and lack of investment are the reasons behind lagging progress in reducing newborn deaths – and even slower for progress in reducing stillbirths.last_img read more