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Weekly Sound Bite: The loonie goes out like a lion

It took longer than I expected, but the loonie is now trading about one U.S. cent higher than when Justin Trudeau took over as Prime Minister on November 4th of last year. On Thursday the Canadian dollar was worth 77.11 U.S. cents according to Thomson Reuters data. So can Justin Trudeau and his Finance Minister Bill Morneau take credit for the loonie's comeback?

Canadian mid-caps edge out US peers year-to-date in local currency

This morning we are doing a brief review of the major themes that we started out 2015 with in both Canada and the US. Our next market commentaries for INK subscribers will be on January 4, 2016 for Canada and January 6, 2016 for the US market when we take a look at what insiders are signalling for the New Year. We will, however, continue to update subscriber report pages in the meantime with changes in our indicators.

We started off 2015 noting that insiders in Canada were upbeat with respect to valuations offering the prospect of both a decent year for stocks and outperformance over the US. In contrast, we noted insiders in the US remained downbeat on valuations suggesting a patient approach to American equities was in order. While insiders were suggesting that valuations in the US Energy sector were improving, we warned that the potential for future losses could not be ruled out. Unfortunately, for investors in the sector, that turned out to be the case.

Clearly, it was not a sunny year for Canadian stocks in 2015. However, developments in the Canadian market were not nearly as horrible as the headline benchmark would suggest. While the S&P/TSX Composite Index has dropped 10.99% year-to-date compared to the S&P 500 Index off 2.59%, Canadian mid-cap stocks as measured by the INK Canadian Insider (CIN) Index have not had it as bad, falling 4.59% (all returns are on a local currency price basis).

Loonie likely to fly higher with a Trudeau government, domestically-focused stocks may also get a boost

The loonie is likely to regain its strength under a Trudeau government, although timing will depend on whether or not there is a majority government. A majority Liberal government should set the flight path higher soon after election night, while a minority could keep the currency in a holding pattern for a few weeks or months.

While Yellen remains the same, Trudeau scores on change

We are working on two themes for Monday's Market INK report in wake of the Thursday's double-header for the markets. First up was Janet Yellen and her band of monetary policy makers. After months of preparing investors for a rate hike, she not only delayed, but also backtracked. For months we have been flagging the losing battle that the Fed has waged to get inflation back to their target (not our target I might add). Now, finally they are being up front with investors that they do not see hitting their target until sometime after Obama is long gone from the White House.

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