First Foundation’s Best Mortgage Rates to Open the Week:
1 Year 2.85%
2 Year 3.20%
3 Year 3.35%
4 Year 3.89%
5 Year 3.84%
7 Year 4.94%
10 Year 5.15%
ARM / Variable 2.20%
Line of Credit 3.50%
Prime Rate 3.00%
Qualifying Rate 5.44%
The Toronto stock market closed higher Monday as traders took in a multibillion-dollar offer for a Canadian miner and a Statistics Canada report that showed the economy grew faster than expected in December.
The S&P/TSX composite index backed off earlier gains to move up 84.37 points to 14,136.5, with the mining sector leading the way.
The Canadian dollar rose to its highest level in 40 months Monday, bolstered by better-than-expected growth in the Canadian economy and by weakness in the U.S. dollar.
The loonie closed at 4 p.m. ET at $1.0294 US for a gain of 0.76 of a cent. In after hours trading later on Monday, the dollar broke through $1.03 US, trading as high as $1.0307. It hasn’t been that high since it spiked to the $1.10 US level in November 2007.
Excerpted from an article on thestar.com:
Statistics Canada said the GDP grew at an annualized rate of 3.3 per cent in the fourth quarter after expanding 1.8 per cent in the third quarter. That was significantly stronger than the 2.3 per cent pace the Bank of Canada expected in December.
For the full year 2010, Canada’s gross domestic product grew 3.1 per cent after a 2.5 per cent decline in 2009.
“Real GDP growth in the fourth quarter of 2010 beat the Bank of Canada’s January forecast by a full percentage point,” said Diana Petramala, an economist at TD Bank .
“If Canadian real GDP growth continues at this pace, the economy will be operating at full capacity by the end of this year — slightly ahead of when the Bank of Canada predicted back in January.”
The figures could put pressure on the central bank to raise interest rates sooner than expected. The Bank of Canada is expected to provide some insight into where it plans to go when it makes its next interest rate announcement Tuesday.
Douglas Porter, deputy chief economist at Bank of Montreal, said the upbeat report begins to tip the balance back in favour of earlier rate hikes.
“We had been looking for the bank to wait until their July meeting before restarting the rate hike process, and are still comfortable with that call. But, if there is a surprise to our rate call, it now looks like the bank would go earlier, rather than wait longer.”