TORONTO — The Toronto stock market moved higher early Monday after Statistics Canada reported that the economy grew more than expected in January. The S&P/TSX composite index lifted 34.71 points to 14,295.43 shortly after the Toronto market opened. The Canadian dollar was at 90.72 cents US, rising 0.3 of a cent. The federal agency reports that Canada’s gross domestic product grew by 0.5% in January, ahead of the forecast of 0.3% growth. Economists had expected the economy to rebound after declining 0.5% in December, when bad weather affected much of the country. At the end of the week, Statistics Canada will release employment data for March. It’s expected that overall employment will have risen by 20,000, leaving the jobless rate unchanged at about 7%. In commodities, the May crude oil contract rose 11 cents to $101.78, while gold bullion lost $1.10 to $1,293.20 for June. May copper slipped one cent to US3.03 a pound while June bullion fell $2.10 to US$1,292.20 an ounce. On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrials added 149.37 points to 16,472.43, the Nasdaq lifted 48.09 points to 4,203.85 and the S&P 500 index rose 15.85 points to 1,873.47. In corporate developments, Encana Corp. has agreed to sell certain natural gas properties in Wyoming for about US$1.8 billion to an affiliate of TPG Capital. The deal involves about 1,500 active wells in the Jonah field. Darren Entwistle is steppinig aside as president and CEO of Telus Corp., one of Canada’s largest telecommunications companies. He’ll be replaced in those posts by Telus veteran executive Joe Natale effective May 8, when the company has its shareholders meeting. Canadian autoparts manufacturer Martinrea International Inc. is looking for a new president and chief executive officer to replace Nick Orlando, who will remain in the position for now. The announcement came as Martinrea reported financial results for the year and fourth quarter ended Dec. 31 and said a special committee of its board has concluded its review of earlier public disclosures and determined there’s no need to change earlier statements. Shares of Martinrea were up $1.33 or 15% to $10.10. European bourses were slightly higher after consumer price data for the euro zone showed inflation at its lowest since late 2009. The annualized rate in March fell to 0.5%, which was below analyst estimates. London’s FTSE 100 index was up 0.7%, Frankfurt’s DAX rose 0.3% and the Paris CAC 40 gained 0.1%. In Asia, Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 was up 0.90%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.39% and China’s Shanghai Composite Index was down 0.41%.
Pipelines are one of the themes of the December issue. A new approach to managing fauna during construction of major pipelines in Western Australia’s iron ore-rich Pilbara region has saved native wildlife, reduced costs and broadened workforce skills. Earlier this year the KT-OSD Joint Venture successfully completed the construction and commissioning of the 85 km connector from the Goldfields Gas Pipeline to a gas-fired power station at Rio Tinto’s West Angelas iron ore mine.In an address to the Australian Pipelines and Gas Association’s annual conference recently, Project Manager Keith Horstmann explained that changing the approach to managing fauna meant fewer animal losses and better training and work opportunities for the local traditional owners.“Trenches are essentially vast fauna pit traps stretching for kilometres,” Horstmann said. “Once in a trench, fauna face a lack of shelter, extreme heat, dehydration and predation – the cause of previous high fatality levels.”Regulators have since 2004 successfully forced new fauna management conditions which have helped stem fauna losses. However, this has also brought increasing expectations and escalating costs around the need for specialists such as zoologists to be present during a trenching program.“Our focus was on developing the skills needed to minimise fauna losses, which lead to an agreement to develop a unit of competency in fauna management recognised in the national training system, rather than just certificates of participation,” Horstmann said.“There was a larger upfront cost involved in developing this more intensive and tailored fauna training program, but the net cost saving to the West Angelas project was significant. We now hope to continue to work with Polytechnic West, regulators and indigenous employment agencies on future pipeline projects to achieve even better fauna management outcomes.”Rio Tinto Projects Area Manager Wal Terlecki said trenches posed a major environmental risk during pipeline construction and that he was delighted with how the joint venture had dealt with that risk.The KT-OSD Joint Venture elected to build its own fauna knowledge and wildlife handler skills by developing customised training including for indigenous trainees, on fauna identification, rescue and record keeping, and matching it with improved trench inspections and backfilling practices.When not required, the fauna handlers resumed their normal trade assistant or machinery operator duties, thus increasing site manpower efficiency and maximising the workforce’s fauna experience.