Please note that after today, the Morning Minutes are resuming their summer break and will return on Thursday September 2. Colin Cieszynski is scheduled to appear on BNN Bloomberg today just after 4:00 pm EDT.
Canadian bank earnings week has kicked off with a bang this morning. Both Bank of Montreal ($3.44 vs street $2.94) and Bank of Nova Scotia ($2.01 vs street $1.90) posted stronger than expected results. Bank of Montreal reduced its loan loss provisions by $70M (vs an increase of $60M last quarter), while Bank of Nova Scotia continued to reduce the pace of loan loss provision increases ($380M, mostly from its international operations, vs previous quarter $496M). Both banks indicated strength from core North American banking operations but capital markets results were mixed with Bank of Montreal reporting a profit but Bank of Nova Scotia reporting a loss from their respective divisions.
Yesterday’s full commercial approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID vaccine, which helped to propel the NASDAQ to a new all-time high yesterday, continued to have a generally positive impact on markets overnight. The Hang Seng soared 2.4% while the Nikkei climbed 0.8% and the Dax is up 0.3%. The FTSE, however, is down 0.3% this morning.
US index futures are up 0.1%-0.2% as US indices look to add to yesterday’s gains of 0.6% for the Dow, 1.5% for the NASDAQ and 1.9% for the Russell 2000. Commodities are climbing for a second straight day with WTI crude oil up 1.6% and copper up 0.6%.
It’s a quiet day for economic news with investors still focused on the Fed’s Jackson Hole Symposium later this week for signs of what the US central bank is planning to do about its asset purchase program.