19.07.2019 23:56:02

TSX Ends Slightly Weak After Choppy Ride

(RTTNews) - The Canadian stock market faltered after a bright start on Friday, and despite bouncing back past noon, struggled to hold gains and eventually ended the session flat.

While optimism about a cut in U.S. interest rate later this month and firm commodity prices set up a positive start, disappointing Canadian retail sales data and uncertainty about the progress in U.S.-China trade negotiations hurt sentiment and dragged down stock prices.

Energy and mining stocks fared well, while those from industrial section were weak. Financial, information technology and consumer discretionary stocks turned in a mixed performance.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index ended down 8.29 points, or 0.05%, at 16,485.94. The index scaled a high of 16,573.68 and a low of 16,485.46 in the session. The index shed 0.01% in the week.

Encana Corporation (ECA.TO) jumped more than 4%, Crescent Point Energy (CPG.TO) spurted 3.3% and Baytex Energy (BTE.TO) climbed up 5.7%.

Mining stocks Detour Gold Corporation (DGC.TO) and Hudbay Minerals (HBM.TO) gained 2.4% and 6.4%, respectively. Oceanagold Corporation (OGC.TO) ended stronger by 3%.

In the industrial space, Westshore Terminals Investment Corp. (WTE.TO) and Tfi International (TFII.TO) gained 2.1% and 1.5%, respectively.

On the other hand, Bombardier Inc. (BBD.B.TO) shed 1.9%, Canadian Pacific Railway (CP.TO) and Waste Connections (WCN.TO) shed 1.2% and 1.1%, respectively. Canadian National Railway (CNR.TO) and CAE Inc. (CAE.TO) also ended weak.

Among bank stocks, Laurentian Bank (LB.TO), Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO), Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) and CDN Western Bank (CWB.TO) shed 0.25 to 0.7%. Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO) and Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) posted modest gains, while Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) ended flat.

Among cannabis shares, CannTrust Holdings (TRST.TO) declined more than 5.5%, while Aurora Cannabis Inc. (ACB.TO) and Hexo Corp. (HEXO.TO) both ended lower by about 1.4%.

In the information technology section, Quarterhill Inc. (QTRH.TO) and Celestica Inc. (CLS.TO) gained 1.9% and 1.75%, respectively. BlackBerry (BB.TO) advanced 1.1%, while Enghouse Systems (ENGH.TO) shed 1.85%.

On the economic front, data released by Statistics Canada showed that the nation's retail sales unexpectedly fell for the first time in four months in May.

The data showed retail sales fell 0.1% on a seasonally adjusted monthly basis in May, following a revised 0.2% rise in April. Economists had forecast a 0.3% increase.

Core retail sales, excluding motor vehicle and parts dealers, dropped 0.3% after a revised flat reading in the previous month. Economists were looking for a gain of 0.3%.

On Wall Street, stocks moved mostly lower over the course of the trading day on Friday as buying interest waned as investors looked ahead to a slew of earnings reports, due next week.

The major averages failed to sustain an initial upward move and slid firmly into negative territory as the day progressed. The Dow declined 0.3%, the Nasdaq slid 0.7% and the S&P 500 dropped 0.6%. For the week, the Dow shed 0.7%, while the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 both tumbled by 1.2%.

The initial strength in Wall Street partly reflected a positive reaction to upbeat earnings news from Microsoft (MSFT), as the software giant reported fiscal fourth quarter results that exceeded analyst estimates on both the top and bottom lines.

Stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved notably higher on Friday. The major European markets ended modestly higher.

In commodities, West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for August ended up $0.33, or about 0.6%, at $55.63 a barrel.

Gold futures for August ended down $1.40, or about 0.1%, at $1,426.70 an ounce, after soaring to a high of $1,454.40 earlier in the day.

Silver futures for September ended down $0.003, at $16.195 an ounce, while Copper futures for September settled at $2.7525 per pound, gaining $0.0425 in the session.

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