Five Canadian business stories to watch this week

Interest rates
Interest rates

Trade-war fears

U.S. President Donald Trump has promised details on his proposed tariffs on steel and aluminum imports to the United States this week. Trump has said he wants a 25 per cent tariff on steel and 10 per cent on aluminum, but provided few other details. The move, which some fear may spark a trade war, comes as the seventh round of the NAFTA negotiations wrap up in Mexico City on Monday.

Interest rates

The Bank of Canada is expected to make its latest pronouncement on interest rates on Wednesday. The rate announcement follows recent reports by Statistics Canada that the economy grew less than economists had expected in the fourth quarter of 2017, but that core inflation continued to tick higher in January. The central bank has raised its key interest rate target three times in the past year. It now stands at 1.25 per cent.

Economic data

The Bank of Canada has said its decisions will be data dependant and this week will see several key economic data points. Statistics Canada releases the international merchandise trade results for January on Wednesday, building permits for January on Thursday and jobs figures for February on Friday.

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More corporate earnings

Construction company Aecon Group Inc. releases fourth-quarter and year-end results on Tuesday. The company is facing a full national security review of its sale to a Chinese state-owned business. Other companies reporting results this week include Morneau Shepell Inc. on Wednesday and Cara Operations Ltd. on Friday.

Mining conference

The annual convention of the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada kicks off on Sunday in Toronto. The four-day meet up is one of the world’s largest conventions for the mining industry with over 1,000 exhibitors and 24,000 attendees from around the world.

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