4/8/2016, 5:24 PM (Source: TeleTrader)
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Canada housing starts slower in March

Housing starts in Canada was counted at 196,783 units in March, which compares to 201,618 in February, according to data provided by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) on Friday. Figures are presented as six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR) of housing starts.

The seasonally adjusted annual rate was 204,251 units in March, which is down from 219,077 in February. Urban starts decreased by 7.0% in March, while multiple urban starts decreased even more, by 9.7%. The single-detached urban starts decreased by 1.1% in March.

"Overall, starts were trending lower in March due to a slowdown in multi-unit construction. This was the case across the country, except in British Columbia where declining inventories of new and unsold units as well as low levels of new listings in the resale market spurred builders to start new projects," said Bob Dugan, Chief Economist at CMHC.

Starts were lower in British Columbia, Québec, Atlantic Canada and the Prairies, but increased in Ontario. Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 19,299 units.

Meanwhile in Toronto, the main S&P/TSX index rose 1.04% to 13,403 points by 5:08 p.m. CET (11:08 a.m. EDT). Most of the sectors saw gains, with mining adding hefty 5.95%, except for health care, consumer discretionary and IT. First Quantum Minerals Limited jumped 9.93%. The wealth management company Gluskin Sheff + Associates Inc. rolled down 5.41%, and Valeant Pharmaceuticals dropped 5.2%.

The Canadian dollar was 1.34% stronger against the U.S. dollar, 1.11% versus the euro and 1.45% against the Japanese yen by 5:22 p.m. CET (11:22 a.m. EDT).

Baha Breaking News (BBN) / ZR