Canadian stock market continues down for fear of NAFTA collapse

11 January, 2018, 09:33 | Author: Brenda Erickson
  • US NAFTA withdrawal looking increasingly likely: report

Canada is bracing for a possible USA withdrawal from the tripartite North American Free Trade Agreement, a source said on Wednesday, ahead of the next round of negotiations due to start in Montreal later this month.

The three NAFTA countries are set to meet for a sixth round of negotiations later in January, and Trump has maintained if the US can't get a better deal, he will withdraw from the pact completely.

Kansas City Southern fell as much as 4.6% after the report, its biggest loss in more than eight months.

The Canadian dollar and the Toronto stock index fell on the news.

A White House official later said there was no change to Trump's position on NAFTA.

The energy group edged down 0.1 percent, although Crescent Point Energy Corp rose 4.5 percent to 10.94 Canadian dollars.

Canada's two-year government bonds also took a hit, dropping seven basis points to 1.73 percent. "Outside of the Bank of Canada meeting next week, there should be upward pressure on USD/CAD as that premium increases into the next round".

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"The market's been too complacent regarding Nafta termination risk for too long", said Bipan Rai, a Toronto-based foreign-exchange and macro strategist at Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.

Trump fell short Monday on making any firm promises that a NAFTA update could be done, although he told farmers he wanted a better deal for them during remarks to the American Farm Bureau Federation convention in Nashville, Tenn.

- How has the market performed over the last five years?

"It's under negotiation as we speak", he said. The Canadian officials said Wednesday they were not sure how Mexico would react to any withdrawal notice, but that Canada would keep negotiating after one was given.

"What's surprising to me is that everybody is so surprised".

Trump has said many times he would pull the nation out of the NAFTA deal if he couldn't see a way make the deal fairer for the United States.

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