Jan. 16, 2015


  • Historically, the Switzerland has been a safe haven, both in their currency and financial institutions.
  • This week, in a surprise move, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) abandoned its 3 year ‘peg’ of 1.20 Swiss francs per Euro. This ‘peg’ was to prevent the Swiss franc from rising too high against the Euro.
  • At the same time, the SNB reduced interest rates to -0.75% from -0.25% to discourage a run-up in their currency.
  • Since removing the ‘peg’ the Swiss franc has soared 30%.
  • The #1 industry in Switzerland, banking, has been protected.
  • Analysts believe the SNB acted this week to be ahead of the downward pressure on the euro from the ECB meeting next week, as well as the Greek elections.


  • Canadian December home prices fell 0.2% M/M. Declined in Halifax (-1.1%), Calgary (-1.1%), Quebec City (-1%) and increased in Edmonton (0.2%), Toronto (0.3%).
  • Y/Y home prices were up 4.9% nationally.
  • Number of homes sold through the MLS system in December dropped 25% M/M in Calgary (largest decline since 2008) and 26% in Edmonton (worst monthly decline ever). Rest of Canada declined 3.1%.
  • Number of sales from December to December, outside Alberta were up 6.1%, while they declined 4.3% in Calgary and 6% in Edmonton.
  • David Wolf, co-manager of Fidelity Canadian Asset Allocation Fund and a former Bank of Canada advisor, says the next move in interest rates may be down.


  • US December CPI declined 0.4% M/M, up 0.8% Y/Y. Core unchanged M/M and up 1.6% Y/Y.
  • US December import prices fell 2.5% M/M (largest decline in 6 years) and down 5.5% Y/Y.
  • State and local governments added 108,000 jobs in 2014, the most since 2008, largely in education.
  • November job openings rose by 142,000 to 4.97 million, the highest level in 14 years. There are now 1.8 unemployed for each job opening.


  • To date Canadian oil and gas companies have cut $5.18 billion from their 2015 budgets, down 24%.
  • CanOils predicts with US$50 WTI oil, less than 20% of Canada’s 50 top companies would be able to sustain their business long-term. Over the short-term 95% of these will be cash flow positive.
  • Iran lowered the oil price for its budget to $40.
  • Iraq is doubling crude shipments from its Kirkuk fields to 300,000 boe/day.
  • US crude production increased 60,000 boe/day to 9.19 million, the most since 1983.
  • China’s December crude imports surged to a record 7.19 million boe/day up from previous high of 6.81 million boe/day in April.
  • International Energy Agency expects non-OPEC supply to decline 350,000 boe/day while production from OPEC is expected to decline 100,000 boe/day to 29.8 million.
  • OPEC produced 30.48 million boe/day in December.