Wholesale sales in Canada shrank 1.7 percent month-over-month in December of 2020, preliminary estimates showed. The decrease reflected lower sales in the machinery, equipment and supplies; food, beverage, and tobacco; and miscellaneous subsectors.
Retail sales in Canada jumped 1.3 percent month-over-month in November of 2020, beating market forecasts of 0.1 percent. It is the 7th consecutive monthly gain, led by higher sales at food and beverage stores (5.9 percent), along with an uptick in e-commerce sales (2.7 percent). On the other hand, sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers (-0.9 percent) declined for the first time since April.
The FTSE 100 fell more than 0.5% on Friday and was on course to book a 0.9% weekly fall, dragged down by weak economic data and as the UK PM Boris Johnson did not rule out extending the country’s third lockdown until the summer. Flash PMI data pointed to a steep slump in business activity in January, with services once again especially hard hit and manufacturing seen growth almost stalling. Also, recent data showed retailers struggled to recover in December from a partial coronavirus lockdown in November, with retail sales up only 0.3%, well below market expectations of 1.2%. Meantime concerns about rising coronavirus infections and restrictions continue to weight.
US futures sank on Friday with contracts on the Dow Jones falling more than 200 points and both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq losing around 0.5%. Investors' focus returned to coronavirus while initial optimism over earnings and additional stimulus from the new Biden administration paused. US President warned the pandemic will 'get worse before it gets better' while signing executive orders t expand testing and vaccination. On the corporate front, earnings from Intel and IBM released Thursday after the closing bell beat forecasts although revenues from IBM disappointed. On the data front, flash Markit PMIs will be in the spotligh. On Thursday, the Dow Jones fell 12 points or less than 0.1% to 31,176, the S&P 500 edged up 1 points or less than 0.1% to 3,853, while the Nasdaq jumped 74 points or 0.6% to a fresh record of 13,531.