CA-BUSINESS Summary

Soft data, commodity prices take TSX to one-week low

TORONTO (Reuters) – Canada‘s main stock index retreated sharply on Friday as lower commodity prices triggered a slump in shares of natural resource companies and weak economic data out of Europe and the United States dampened investor sentiment. While almost every major sector declined, the index still looked on track for a gain in May, reversing losses in the previous two months.

DirecTV, two others bid over $1 billion for Hulu: source

(Reuters) – Satellite operator DirecTV and two other bidders have offered more than $1 billion apiece to buy Hulu, a source with knowledge of the bidding process said on Friday, increasing the likelihood that owners News Corp and Walt Disney Co will be able to shed the video streaming service they failed to sell in 2011. Hulu board members, who are being advised by Guggenheim Partners on the auction, fielded at least seven buyout offers last week, the source said.

Digital currency firms rush to adopt anti-money laundering rules

NEW YORK/ST. LOUIS (Reuters) – These are unsettling times for digital currency businesses and the venture capitalists backing them. On Tuesday, authorities in Spain, Costa Rica and New York arrested five people at the digital currency firm Liberty Reserve, including its founder Arthur Budovsky, and seized related bank accounts and Internet domains.

RBS gives up fight, will hand over Libor documents to Canada

OTTAWA (Reuters) – The Royal Bank of Scotland Group has agreed to hand over documents demanded by Canada in its probe into whether the bank was involved in a global interest rate-rigging scandal, Canada’s Competition Bureau said on Friday. The move marked a reversal for RBS, which had launched a legal challenge against the bureau’s demand for internal documents. The Competition Bureau is trying to determine whether RBS and several other banks sought to manipulate the London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor).

China May official PMI stronger than expected

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s official PMI rose to 50.8 in May from 50.6 in April, data showed on Saturday, beating market expectations and raising optimism that the world’s second-largest economy may be stabilizing. Investors will get a fuller picture of the Chinese economy on Monday when the official services PMI is released along with the final HSBC survey that focuses on smaller private sector firms in the country.

SAC redemptions grow, as Magnitude Capital joins in

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Investor redemptions from Steven A. Cohen’s SAC Capital Advisors continue to mount, with Magnitude Capital emerging as the latest outside investor asking to get money back from the $15 billion hedge fund. Magnitude Capital, a fund of hedge funds that manages $3.1 billion of client money, began redeeming funds in the first quarter of this year and intends to submit another withdrawal notice for the second quarter, according to a person with knowledge of the investment.

NYSE asks SEC to reinstate volatility curbs

NEW YORK (Reuters) – NYSE Euronext asked U.S. regulators on Friday to allow it to reintroduce rules to curb excessive trading volatility after several New York Stock Exchange-listed securities recently experienced sharp unintended drops. NYSE had a system in place to slow trading when a stock’s price moved rapidly over a short period of time, but had to cancel it when the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission introduced market-wide rules for trading halts in April.

Exclusive: Founders seek more time for ENRC bid – sources

LONDON/MOSCOW (Reuters) – The three billionaire founders behind miner ENRC have asked its independent board members for a three-week extension to a June 3 buyout bid deadline, seeking more time to iron out technical details, sources with knowledge of the matter said. ENRC’s founders said in April they were weighing up a buyout of minority investors in the mining group – a move that would take the company private and end a London adventure marked by bitter boardroom battles, corruption probes and an acquisition spree that left it with $5 billion of debt.

Canada’s CVTech says it rejected takeover bids in January, March

(Reuters) – CVTech Group Inc , which provides services to electric utilities, said it had received and rejected multiple takeover offers from a New York Stock Exchange-listed electrical contractor, after its second largest shareholder wrote to investors that the company was withholding that information. Guy Aubert, who resigned as CVTech’s director on January 24, issued a letter to shareholders on Monday that detailed two previous takeover bids. The letter was made public on Thursday.

Canada GDP jumps to 2.5 percent growth in first quarter on exports

OTTAWA (Reuters) – Rising exports helped rouse the Canadian economy from a sluggish second half of 2012 to grow at an annualized rate of 2.5 percent in the first quarter of this year, the fastest pace in six quarters, Statistics Canada reported on Friday. The real growth rate was well above the Bank of Canada’s forecast in April of 1.5 percent, topped the median projection of 2.3 percent in a Reuters survey and outpaced U.S. growth of 2.4 percent for the quarter. Statscan also revised up fourth-quarter growth to 0.9 percent from 0.6 percent.

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