and Telus Corp. dropped more than 0.8 percent to pace declines among phone stocks. Semafo Inc. jumped 6.7 percent as gold rebounded. Paladin Energy Ltd. added 6.4 percent after reporting cost-cutting plans. Air Canada gained 4 percent after winning a pair of slots for flights to a Tokyo airport. BlackBerry Ltd. reversed losses after a report that the company has drawn the interest of Cerberus Capital Management LP. The Standard & Poors/TSX Composite Index (SPTSX) fell 8.44 points, or 0.1 percent, to 12,839 at 4 p.m. in Toronto.
Canada has a long way to go before Asian trading partners take us seriously
aYet this is not just a place to do business. It is the place that defines business. Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong are on the cutting edge of business practices. This is the 21st century on steroids.a Evans said Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird aand some of the cabinet are beginning to hum the melody, are coming more often and say Asia-Pacific matters. The problem is that they have the music but they donat have the words. They donat have a plan. There is not a coherent strategy that covers trade, investment, security, the environment and social and cultural issues.a aI would be the last person to discourage the government from doing what it is doing, but there is a lot of catching up to do,a said Len Edwards, who has been Canadaas ambassador to South Korea and Japan as well as a deputy minister of foreign affairs before becoming a fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation in Waterloo, Ont. aEverything in Asia takes time, effort and persistence and we have been inconstant partners. It was not just this government but during the latter years of Liberal government (that) Canada backed away from Asia. Our companies left the region, too. It takes a long time to rebuild ties.a Fen Hampson, who with Edwards has briefed the Harper cabinet about the importance of trade with Asia, decried a Canadian amindset that is still oriented towards the Atlantic and the United States. aAside from a few major Canadian firms which are in the region, there is complacency in the business community and risk aversion and too high a comfort level with doing business in traditional markets such as the U.S.,a said the Carleton University international affairs professor and director of CIGIas global security program. aWe require a much broader strategic engagement. We canat just send ministers and trade missions.
CANADA STOCKS-TSX steady as U.S. shutdown hits energy, boosts gold
On Tuesday, Baird appeared alongside his Somali counterpart, Fawzia Yusuf Adam, to herald what he described as not just a new page in the relationship, but a “new volume.” Canada had been wary of engaging the new Somali government too soon as previous iterations have succumbed to corruption and infighting. But he praised the new government, even as he pledged $6 million to help bring peace and stability to Somalia. At the same time, Baird promised to consider other ways in which Canada can help fight the terrorist group responsible for the Kenya attack, al-Shabab. Al-Shabab controlled much of Somalia for years, but has since been forced out of the country’s major urban areas following the African Union’s involvement. It has claimed responsibility for last week’s attack on a highend shopping mall in Nairobi, which killed at least 65 people, including two Canadians. Some analysts have seen the mall attack as a sign the group has shifted tactics to more insurgency-type activities following those losses as well as a bout of internal fighting. Baird acknowledged the gains that have made against al-Shabab in recent years, but added the work is not finished and “in the face of such attacks of despicable terror, we must strengthen our resolve.” Meanwhile, Adam, who is the first Somali foreign minister to visit Canada in recent memory, sought to dispel perceptions her country remains gripped by war and instability. In addition to al-Shabab’s shrunken influence, she noted there have not been any incidents of piracy off Somalia’s cost in more than a year. Somali pirates were considered a scourge in the Indian Ocean several years ago, when they seized several large vessels and held them for ransom, prompting an international military response. “This is a new Somalia,” Adam said. “A Somalia with hope. A lot of challenges. But these challenges are opportunities.” Adam echoed Baird’s assertions of a new era, saying her country was excited to “reignite this flame of partnership” and indicating Somalia is planning to open an embassy in Canada in the near future. The $6 million announced by Baird Tuesday is on top of $37 million Canada has already pledged in humanitarian support to the Horn of Africa. Canada previously contributed $1.5 million for counterterrorism training in the region, and spent $10 million to deploy a Ugandan police unit to the capital Mogadishu last year.
Canada renews ties with Somalia
shutdown hits energy, boosts gold Financials Wed Oct 2, 2013 5:16pm EDT * TSX falls 8.44 points, or 0.07 percent, to 12,839 * Five of 10 main index sectors decline * Canadian Natural has biggest negative influence on market By John Tilak TORONTO, Oct 2 (Reuters) – Canada’s main stock index was little changed on Wednesday as a U.S. government shutdown hit the energy and financial sectors, but boosted the bullion price and gold-mining stocks. A day after The Democratic-led U.S. Senate voted to kill Republicans’ latest attempts to modify an emergency government funding bill, hopes the debt crisis would be resolved soon began to dwindle. The uncertainty spurred a jump in gold, which is seen as a safe-haven asset, as investors placed bets on the commodity. Gold stocks gained as a result. “The market continues to say: ‘This is a temporary blip, don’t get too distracted by it, but drive on, ‘” said Robert McWhirter, president and portfolio manager at Selective Asset Management Inc. Investors will start to panic only if the shutdown extends beyond a few weeks, he added. The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index closed down 8.44 points, or 0.07 percent, at 12,839. Five of the 10 main sectors on the index were in the red. The financial group fell 0.4 percent. Royal Bank of Canada , the country’s biggest lender, dropped 0.5 percent to C$66.35. Toronto Dominion Bank gave back 0.3 percent to C$92.04. Energy shares shed 0.8 percent, with Canadian Natural Resources Ltd falling 1.8 percent to C$32.23 and having the biggest negative influence on the market. Suncor Energy Inc lost almost 1 percent to C$36.81.