Yemen UN factfinding mission gaining full access to protesters opposition figures

1 July 2011The United Nations human rights mission to Yemen is gaining access to protesters and opposition leaders, has the cooperation of the Government and is generally “going well,” the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) reported today. “The OHCHR mission to Yemen is going well so far with cooperation from the Government, which has allowed our team full access,” Rupert Colville, a spokesperson for the office, told a news briefing in Geneva. The team of three experts flew to Yemen on Monday and is expected to return on 6 July. “The team met the Vice-President in Sana’a [the capital] as well as opposition leaders, NGOs [non-governmental organizations] and protesters in Sana’a and Taiz. They have conducted interviews, collected documents and visited the two key protest locations in Sana’a where anti-Government and pro-Government protesters have been gathering,” Mr. Colville said. “The Government informed our team about the process they are undertaking to restart political dialogue,” he said. The group visited two hospitals that were looted amid violence in late May, and are due to visit prisons and speak to internally displaced persons (IDPs), he said. Yemen is one of many countries across North Africa and the Middle East where members of the public have held large-scale protests this year calling for greater democracy and freedoms. read more

Closing Bell TSX piles on further losses as oil and copper prices

TORONTO — The Toronto stock market extended its losses Thursday with resource stocks leading the way as oil and metal prices broke through important levels amid a strong American currency and worries about a faltering global economy.Here are the closing numbersTSX — 14,760.64 -44.80 -0.30%S&P 500 —  1,946.17 +0.01  0.00%Dow — 16,801.05 -3.66 -0.02%Nasdaq — 4,430.19+8.11 0.18% The S&P/TSX composite index was well off early lows, coming back from a triple-digit loss as gold stocks turned positive. But the main index was still down 44.8 points to 14,760.64 following a 115-point tumble Wednesday as oil prices fell below US$90 a barrel for the first time since April 2013 and copper prices hit a six-month low.The Canadian dollar was up 0.07 of a cent to 89.58 cents US. U.S. indexes were largely lacklustre with the Dow Jones industrials down 3.66 points to 16,801.05 following a 238-point loss Wednesday. The Nasdaq gained 8.11 points to 4,430.2 and the S&P 500 index added 0.01 of a point to 1,946.17.The mining sector fell 1% with December copper down four cents to US$3 a pound. HudBay Minerals (TSX:HBM) gave back 25 cents to $9.15.The TSX energy sector lost 0.75% while November crude in New York edged up 28 cents to US$91.01 a barrel after tumbling as low as $88.18. Nymex crude is down around 9% year-to-date. The TSX sector is down about 12% over the past month and was a major contributor to the Toronto market losing more than 4% during September.“The TSX has sold off primarily because it got ahead of itself, especially on the energy side of things,” said Kash Pashootan, portfolio manager at First Avenue Advisory in Ottawa, a Raymond James company.Beyond economic worries, commodities have also suffered from a U.S. dollar that has strengthened sharply in recent weeks as a string of positive U.S. economic data persuaded some investors that the Federal Reserve will move to raise interest rates earlier than expected next year.A higher U.S. dollar pressures commodities because a stronger greenback makes it more expensive for holders of other currencies to buy oil and metals which are dollar-denominated.Another source of uncertainty has come from the impending end of the third and last instalment of the Fed’s quantitative easing program, which saw the central bank buy up massive amounts of bonds. The move was intended to keep long-term rates low and has been partly responsible for the sharp run up in markets since the lows of March 2009.These pressures added up at a time when Toronto and New York markets were at or near record levels.“We could assign a reason for it but the reality is the market is correcting because that’s what the market does,” added Pashootan. “We have had essentially 24 months of straight gains and valuations become frothy and at some point it corrects — it’s just the market being the market.”Elsewhere on the TSX, financials were also a major weight. Scotiabank (TSX:BNS) gave back 73 cents to $68.92. The gold sector limited TSX losses as the group rose one% with December bullion down 40 cents to US$1,215.10. Goldcorp (TSX:G) was ahead 48 cents to C$26.93.Canadian Pacific Railway (TSX:CP) was one of the few bright spots, ahead $11.89 to $234.70 a day after the company said it can double its profits and drive its revenues to $10 billion over the next four years. CEO Hunter Harrison said CP is aiming at a two-fold increase in earnings per share between this year and 2018.TOP STORIESCP Rail shares rise on new four-year plan, but analysts caution targets may be difficult to meetWhy a weaker loonie won’t be a saviour for many of Canada’s manufacturersCash-strapped Sears Holdings to sell most of its stake in Sears Canada for $380-millionPlanes, trains — and now automobiles for investing guru Warren BuffettThe state of the global recovery in IMF chief’s words: ‘Brittle, uneven, and beset by risks’U.S. crude falls below $90 for first time in almost 2 years as supply glut growsWHAT’S ON DECK FRIDAYECONOMIC NEWSCANADA8:30 a.m.Merchandise Trade Balance (Aug): Economists expect surplus of $1.6-billion UNITED STATES8:30 a.m.Employment report (Sept): Economists expect a gain of 215,000 jobs with a jobless rate unchanged at 6.1% Goods and Services trade balance (Aug): Economists expect a deficit of $40.8-billion 10 a.m.Non-manufacturing ISM index (Sept): Economists expect a reading of 58.5 read more