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The week in Canadian markets is ending with inflation settling in for the foreseeable future.

The country’s inflation rate stood at 4.7 per cent in November, the highest since 2003, while our neighbors to the south saw prices rise 7 per cent annualized in December, the fastest jump since 1982.

These figures stand on the back of our seventh straight month of job growth in December amidst labor shortages, rising wages and a housing affordability crisis on top of ongoing COVID constraints.

Jobs rose by 54,700 last month, according to Statistics Canada, which is more than double the 25,000 predicted by a recent Bloomberg survey.

In total, Canada created 886,000 new jobs in 2021, the bulk of which came from newcomers rather than the unemployed returning to the workforce. After shedding 3 million jobs at the beginning of the pandemic, employment is now 240,500 ahead of figures from February 2020, a sign of strong economic conditions.

Earlier this week, those conditions lead J.P. Morgan economists to surmise that the Bank of Canada will institute its first post-pandemic rate hike at its January 26th meeting. The potential 0.25 per cent hike, they say, will lead to four additional increases yielding a benchmark of 1.5 per cent by year-end.  

Treasury yields have responded to these expectations, spiking from 0.03 to over 0.2 per cent since the beginning of December, signalling that bond holders may be in store for sharp price declines in the near future.

The TSX, on the other hand, is opting for uncertainty until a catalyst presents itself, holding around the 21,000 mark with considerable volatility over the past 45 days.

With higher borrowing costs looming alongside COVID’s ever-present unpredictability, TMH Canada readers turned their attention to the future with opportunities at the forefront of health care and technology. Let’s take a closer look.

HIVE Blockchain (TSXV:HIVE) releases 2021 production figures

HIVE has released December and calendar year 2021 production figures.

In December 2021, it mined 245 BTC at 1.7 exahash of mining capacity.

In 2021, it mined 1,768 BTC.

Its quarterly Bitcoin production has risen over the past four quarters.

The company holds 1,813 BTC as of December 31, 2021.

HIVE (HIVE) is up by 6.55 per cent over the past week trading at $2.93 per share as of 1:10 pm EST.

Datametrex AI (TSXV:DM) receives requests to increase COVID testing

Datametrex AI has received requests from its film and television production clients to increase weekly COVID testing.

Clients have requested that it conduct tests every 24 hours instead of the previous 72-hour rotation.

In Q3 2021, Datametrex administered over 67,500 tests for 41 production companies in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver.

Datametrex AI (DM) is up by 36.76 per cent over the past week trading at $0.23 per share as of 12:53 pm EST.

Datametrex (TSXV:DM) selected to proceed on $40M government project

Datametrex AI, along with its consortium partner, has secured a multi-phase R&D program contract.

The company is tasked with using its Social Media Automated Reporting Technologies to enhance the investigation of social media influencer activities.

Datametrex CEO Marshall Gunter sat down with Caroline Egan to discuss the contract and share his outlook for 2022.

Nextech AR (CSE:NTAR) signs deal with multinational e-commerce brand

Nextech AR has announced the closing of a large ARitize 3D deal with a multinational e-commerce brand.

The company is contracted to produce 2,500 3D models to be distributed globally through the client’s online subsidiaries.

The deal will provide Nextech with a growing base of monthly recurring revenue.

Nextech CEO Evan Gappelberg sat down with Caroline Egan to discuss the deal.

Nextech AR (NTAR) is up by 22.67 per cent over the past week trading at $1.84 per share as of 1:05 pm EST.

Graph Blockchain’s (CSE:GBLC) New World releases NFT collection with Karl Wolf

New World is releasing an NFT collection with Karl Wolf after his song “Omicron Queen” took the web by storm.

The collection consists of 12 unique, limited and fun-coloured Omicron Queens currently available on OpenSea and the Polygon blockchain. Each variation is capped at 50 and comes paired with an “Omicron Queen” track.

The collection’s gold editions are priced at 3 ETH (approximately C$11,500) and offer the opportunity to record a live track with Wolf via Zoom.

Graph Blockchain (GBLC) is unchanged over the past week trading at $0.04 per share as of 1:15 pm EST.

Tune in next Friday afternoon for the top trending stories on The Market Herald Canada.

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With the economy overheating and the TSX in the red for 2022, a portfolio check may be in order.