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Business News Summary Headlines

Company releases, economic news, and business coverage.

Global finance officials argue benefits of free trade

WASHINGTON - The world's major economies are united in their belief that free trade delivers healthy economic growth. But they also agree that more needs to be done for those left behind, and the new Trump administration is letting it be known that it intends to make sure that America's trade deals are fair for U.S. workers.

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble told reporters Friday that if more isn't done "we will see more protectionism and countries retreating from globalization."

Friday, April 21, 2017 | 05:48 PM

Canada delays methane regulations for three years following U.S. retreat

OTTAWA - Canada is going to put off for three years its plan to regulate cuts to methane emissions in the oil and gas sector.

The move comes less than a month after U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order that hits the pause button on matching American commitments to methane cuts and the timing is no coincidence.

Friday, April 21, 2017 | 05:08 PM

Oil prices fall below US$50 a barrel for the first time in over three weeks

TORONTO - Oil prices dropped below US$50 a barrel for the first time in more than three weeks, while North American stock indexes dipped slightly ahead of the first round of the French presidential election.

The June crude oil contract shed $1.09 to US$49.62 per barrel after reaching a low of US$49.20 earlier in the day. The last time the commodity dipped below the US$50 mark was March 29 when it fell to US$49.51.

Friday, April 21, 2017 | 05:06 PM

Future of revamped health care bill remains dubious in House

WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump on Friday downplayed the significance of pushing Republican health care legislation through the House next week, a retreat from more bullish White House pronouncements a day earlier, which had gotten a skeptical reception at the Capitol.

In brief comments to reporters Friday, Trump said the attempt to rekindle the GOP drive to repeal President Barack Obama's health care law is "coming along well." But he said there was "no particular rush" to do it next week, when Congress returns from its spring recess.

Friday, April 21, 2017 | 05:02 PM

Most actively traded companies on the TSX

Some of the most active companies traded Friday on the Toronto Stock Exchange:

Toronto Stock Exchange (15,614.48, down 11.08 points):

Friday, April 21, 2017 | 04:30 PM

Cenovus plans to accelerate drilling on acquired ConocoPhillips gas properties

CALGARY - Cenovus Energy (TSX:CVE) plans to ramp up the drilling of conventional gas wells on the lands it is buying from Houston-based ConocoPhillips in a $17.7-billion deal announced last month.

The Calgary-based company intends to spend $650 million in 2019 to drill about 120 wells in what is known as the Deep Basin of northeastern B.C. and northwestern Alberta, CEO Brian Ferguson said in an interview on Friday.

Friday, April 21, 2017 | 03:26 PM

Top court's refusal to hear federal contracts case prompts call for new laws

TORONTO - A company that argued the fairness and integrity of Canada's public-procurement process has been compromised is calling on the government to legislate changes now that the country's top court has refused to get involved in the case.

In a decision this week, the Supreme Court of Canada refused to hear an appeal from Ottawa-based TPG Technology, which lost a $428-million federal contract in 2007.

Friday, April 21, 2017 | 03:19 PM

New Brunswick seeking continued exemption from duties on lumber exports

FREDERICTON - New Brunswick's trade-policy minister says he's confident Atlantic Canadian lumber exports will remain excluded from U.S. duties once President Donald Trump sees the facts.

Roger Melanson, who is also president of the province's Treasury Board, says he's been working alongside the federal government to secure exclusions in place since 1982.

Friday, April 21, 2017 | 03:15 PM

Inflation surprisingly soft as cheaper food offsets higher gas prices

OTTAWA - The country's annual inflation rate slowed to an unexpectedly weak pace last month as the continued decline in food prices played a big role in offsetting the higher cost of gasoline, Statistics Canada said Friday.

The latest inflation numbers appear to support the Bank of Canada's assessment that despite months of improving data, the economy has more room to grow before it returns to full capacity.

Friday, April 21, 2017 | 01:27 PM

Feds applaud plan to cool Toronto housing market; won't make it national policy

WASHINGTON - The federal government welcomes Ontario's move to tax foreign home buyers in and around Toronto, but says it won't be replicated on a national level because it's unnecessary in the vast majority of the country.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau said his government was consulted in advance of the move by the Ontario government, which announced a 15-per-cent tax on foreign purchases in the hope of cooling a scorching-hot Toronto housing market.

Friday, April 21, 2017 | 12:01 PM