Global Markets: Canadian retail sales rose 1.1 per cent in March

By MarketsFarm

WINNIPEG, May 22 (MarketsFarm News) – The following is a glance at the news moving markets in Canada and globally.

– A recent Statistics Canada report says retail sales rose 1.1 per cent to $51.3 billion in March. Higher gas prices and sales of building materials and garden equipment contributed to the boost. The auto sector dragged the rate down, as motor vehicle and parts sales decreased by 0.7 per cent.

– An “out-of-control” wildfire continues to burn in northwestern Alberta. The fire, located near the town of High Level, is ranked at a level 6, which is at the top of the wildfire intensity scale. “The fire is jumping from crown to crown of trees,” said Alberta Premier Jason Kenney at a news conference Tuesday. “Unfortunately, the dry conditions in northern Alberta are expected to continue for the foreseeable future, with the fire danger possibly increasing this week.” More than 4,000 residents from High Level have evacuated, as well as approximately 750 people from the nearby Bushe River Reserve.

– The United Kingdom will hold European Parliament elections on Thursday, despite prolonged attempts to leave the Union. The election poses another snag in the path towards Brexit. The U.K. was scheduled to leave the EU almost two months ago, but delayed the exit until October 31 after three deals were rejected by lawmakers. Britons are due to elect 73 Members of the European Parliament, though the government has said if Brexit happens by the end of June, the MEPs will not take their seats.

– At least six people were killed and hundreds were injured in Jakarta, Indonesia, in the wake of violent protests. Announcements on Wednesday declared Joko Widodo secured 55.5 per cent of the national vote, making him the winner of the national election held in April. Presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto has rejected the outcome of the official count and claimed victory for himself, stoking the violent response. Widodo said the situation is “under control” and his government will not tolerate any efforts to disrupt the country’s security and democracy, according to Reuters.

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