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May 2016Recent strong economic data and comments from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen suggest that a U.S. rate hike could come as early as this summer. This marked shift drove U.S. government bond yields back near their April highs. In Canada, the devastating wildfires in Alberta that halted some oil sands operations are expected to have negatively impacted Q2 GDP growth. The fire, along with a major disruption in oil production in Nigeria and a larger-than-expected decline in U.S. crude oil inventories led to a rally in crude oil prices. Brent prices rose above the $50 per barrel mark for the first time this year. North American equity indices were generally positive this month. The S&P/TSX posted a 1.0% gain. Overall, 8 of 10 sectors finished the month in positive territory. In the U.S., the S&P 500 posted a 1.8% gain over the month of May, with 7 of 10 sectors ending the month in positive territory.
April 2016