TORONTO – The Toronto Stock Exchange finished lower Thursday after see-sawing most of the day as investor sentiment buoyed by higher commodity prices was finally overcome by concerns over renewed conflict in the Middle East.The S&P/TSX composite index closed down 59.57 points at 14,869.80, adding to a triple-digit plunge on Wednesday. The Canadian dollar rose 0.30 of a U.S. cent to 80.19 cents.U.S. markets also finished in the red after going into a tailspin Wednesday amid reports that a Saudi-led coalition was taking military action against rebel positions in neighbouring Yemen.Saudi Arabia has launched air strikes to oust Yemen’s Houthi rebels who forced the country’s embattled president, Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, to flee. The Saudis accuse Iran of backing the Houthis to destabilize the region and has the support of several regional powers, including Egypt and Jordan.Although not a major oil producer itself, Yemen sits astride straits that join the Red Sea and the Suez Canal with the Arabian Sea, an important energy trade route.“This situation, while currently playing out in Yemen, has broader implications for the region and that’s why the geo-political risk is higher than just looking at Yemen in isolation and why the reaction has probably been a little bit (strong),” said Gareth Watson, vice-president, investment management and research, Richardson GMP Ltd.“This just leads to further instability in the region and a continuation of that ongoing conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran,” Watson said, adding that while the conflict is not going to go away any time soon “we’ve probably seen the biggest component of the initial reaction to it.”The May oil contract closed up $2.22 at US$51.43 a barrel, the fifth consecutive increase, and the energy sector rose 0.39 per cent, one of only three sectors in positive territory along with information technology and health-care.April gold advanced $7.80 to US$1,204.80 an ounce, but the sector was down 1.89 per cent, making it the worst performing sector in Toronto.In New York, the Dow Jones Industrials fell 40.31 points to 17,678.23, while the Nasdaq lost 13.16 point to 4,863.36. The S&P 500 dropped 4.90 points to 2,056.15.In economic news, Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz defended his surprise January decision to cut the Bank of Canada’s key interest rate, telling an audience in London that it was needed to counter the stunning speed and magnitude of the drop in oil prices to levels less than half those of a year ago.Since then they have stabilized in a range “reasonably close” to the bank’s January predictions. “This made us feel increasingly comfortable with the amount of insurance we had already taken out,” he said, explaining why the bank decided to hold the rate steady earlier this month. The central bank’s next rate announcement comes April 15.On the corporate earnings front, Lululemon Athletica Inc. (Nasdaq:LULU) reported a slight increase in fourth-quarter earnings compared with a year ago amid a 16 per cent spike in sales. It also offered an encouraging outlook for 2015 and its shares shot up $3.01 or 4.93 per cent to US$63.97 on the Nasdaq. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by Hugh McKenna, The Canadian Press Posted Mar 26, 2015 5:00 am MDT TSX closes in the red as conflict in Yemen offsets higher commodity prices
Freshman guard D’Angelo Russell (0) dribbles the ball during a game against Colgate on Dec. 6 at the Schottenstein Center. OSU won, 70-50.Credit: Ed Momot / For The LanternThe Ohio State men’s basketball team bounced back to beat Colgate (N.Y.) on Saturday afternoon after losing its first game of the season against No. 5 Louisville on Tuesday.The No. 14 Buckeyes (6-1) outscored Colgate (1-7) by 10 in each half on their way to a 70-50 win.Colgate hung with OSU for portions of the matchup, but the Buckeyes pulled away late. Redshirt-freshman guard Kam Williams said that the Buckeyes needed to relax in order to finally pull away.“We just needed to calm down honestly,” Williams said. “We weren’t playing like our game and coach (Thad) Matta said after the timeout that we just needed to calm down and relax and get the flow for the game.”OSU got the first half started with a 10-0 run but the Raiders responded by scoring five unanswered points. Colgate cut the OSU lead down to three after going on an 8-6 run with about 10 minutes remaining in the half. The Buckeyes gained the upper hand though, going on a 15-8 run to close out the half.Both teams struggled from the field as OSU shot 35.5 percent while holding the Raiders to 29.6 percent in the half. Free throws helped the Buckeyes extend their lead as they went 5-6 from the line. Sophomore forward Marc Loving led all scorers in the first half with 12 points as OSU took a 31-21 lead into halftime.The deficit stayed relatively the same as both OSU and Colgate traded scores for the first 10 minutes of the second half. The Buckeyes managed to hold on to a 52-38 lead with about 10 minutes remaining in the game.OSU continued to stretch the lead after a four-point play by Williams gave OSU a 66-46 advantage with about five minutes to play on its way to a 20-point win.Freshman guard D’Angelo Russell led all scorers in the game as he scored 15 of his 19 points in the second half to go along with four rebounds, four assists and two steals. The Buckeyes shot 46.6 percent from the field in the game while holding the Raiders to 33.3 percent.Loving totaled 17 points while Williams had 11 points for OSU off the bench.Senior center Ethan Jacobs led Colgate with 18 points and five rebounds.Loving said it was important for the Buckeyes to go on a run in the second half to keep Colgate at a safe distance.“You can’t give teams like Colgate opportunity to linger around because then you’ll be in a dogfight,” Loving said. “We knew we had to go on a run eventually and we ended up pushing our lead to 20 points and finished the game out.”Williams finished the game with 11 points and three rebounds in 20 minutes of play. OSU assistant coach Jeff Boals commended Williams for his effort in playing for his teammates.“This is probably one of the closest groups in my six years,” Boals said. “They all care about each other, they cheer for each other, and it’s a situation tonight where Kam Williams came in and did a great job.”The Buckeyes are scheduled to face High Point (N.C.) on Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the Schottenstein Center.