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Global Markets: RBC posts surprise gains

By Commodity News Service Canada

WINNIPEG, August 24 (CNS Canada) – The following is a glance at the news moving markets globally.

RBC EARNINGS EXCEED EXPECTATIONS, BOOSTED BY RISING OIL PRICES

The Royal Bank of Canada reported higher-than-expected quarterly results on Wednesday after higher oil prices allowed it to set aside less money to cover energy companies’ bad loans.

Declining energy prices have caused a rise in delinquent loans to oil and gas companies, especially after crude oil fell to a 13-year low of US$25 a barrel in January.

However, oil prices have recovered by about 30 per cent during the latest quarter, giving relief to energy companies struggling to repay debt.

RBC’s net income was up 17 per cent from last year, with C$2.895 billion in its third quarter.

INVESTORS EYE US FEDERAL RESERVE FOR POSSIBLE RATE HIKE

Wall Street and stock futures opened flat on Wednesday as investors played the waiting game ahead of US Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen’s speech on Friday, hoping to catch clues on the timing of an interest rate hike.

Yellen’s keynote speech at the meeting of global bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming will be the main focus, as the meet has traditionally been used by federal chiefs to signal the direction of monetary policy.

Expectations are raised that Yellen might signal the possibility of a rate hike as early as September, after recent hawkish comments made by some federal officials, including Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer.

TROPICAL STORM GASTON THREATENS US WITH HURRICANE DEVELOPMENT

Tropical storm Gaston is gaining strength in the Atlantic and could become a hurricane by the end of the day Wednesday, according to the US National Hurricane Center.
The storm’s maximum sustained winds have increased to nearly 70 miles per hour early Wednesday and additional strengthening is forecast.

Gaston is about 975 miles west of Cabo Verde Islands and is moving west-northwest. Any impact on the US is looking unlikely at this time, but officials will need to closely monitor the storm over the next few days.

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