Trump‘s threatens to punish China over COVID-19 with fresh tariffs sparked a sell-off Friday, which marked the last week of April and start of May. The Nasdaq closed the week 30 points lower. Bay and Wall streets traded places from the previous session, with the Nasdaq falling 3.2% (and the S&P and Dow finishing modestly higher) while the TSX lost only 1.01%. WTI rose nearly 5% near $20, WCS soared 20% above $13, and gold stayed at $1,700 an ounce. Whether Trump is playing to his base in this U.S. election year or not, his latest threat was universally slammed by markets. Some financial analysts warn such retaliation could lead to a depression and backfire on Americans. Airlines took further more battering Friday. American Airlines fell 11.41% in heavy trading. Tech names like Amazon suffered a 7.6% loss.
In Toronto, energy slid 4.32% while materials was the only sector that shone, rallying 3.73%. The TSX closed the week 200 points higher, though. Notably, Wheaton Precious Metals jumped 9.36% while Vermilion Energy tumbled 8.32%. The TSX closed on a slightly upward note Friday, possibly lifted by Ontario announcing its first steps to gradually reopen the economy.
The number of businesses is restrictive, such as construction sites, and the next phase of reopening depends on meeting medical targets, but it is considered the first baby step in one of Canada’s economic engines. Quebec, which has been harder hit by the virus, already announced reopening plans. Expect further reopens across the world in May and for economies to gradually reopen, despite the threat of a second wave of virus cases.