MARKET ANALYSIS: TSX Ends Flat After Lackluster Session

OTTAWA (Alliance News) - After fluctuating between gains and losses for much of the session, the ...

Alliance News 14 September, 2018 | 10:34PM
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OTTAWA (Alliance News) - After fluctuating between gains and losses for much of the session, the Canadian stock market ended flat on Friday, with investors largely staying reluctant to make significant moves.

A day after investor sentiment got a boost on reports the US and China will have a fresh round of talks to sort out certain trade issues, the US President Donald Trump's instruction to his aides to impose tariffs on USD200 billion worth of Chinese products, adding to the already USD50 billion in place, has pushed investors back on to a defensive mood.

Meanwhile, the US and Mexico have been building up pressure on Canada to sign on to a new NAFTA by month's end or face exclusion from the continental trade pact. However, the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has reportedly made it clear that he won't be rushed into accepting a deal that's not in Canada's best interests.

Gold prices drifted lower after early strength, as the dollar recovered on the back of encouraging industrial production and consumer sentiment reports. Crude oil prices advanced, but gains were just modest with traders weighing current supply and demand levels and the possible impact of sanctions on Iranian oil from early November.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index ended up 11.78 points, or 0.07%, at 16,013.49, after scaling a low of 15,981.01 and a high of 16,032.54 intraday. The index ended down 47.31 points, or 0.29%, at 16,001.71.

Healthcare stocks turned in a fine performance. The Capped Healthcare Index rose 3.75%. Aphria Inc. (APH.TO) soared more than 13%, Canopy Growth Corporation (WEED.TO) climbed up 7.4%, Hexo Corp (HEXO.TO) added 2.8% and Aurora Cannabis Inc. (ACB.TO) advanced by 2.9%.

Among energy stocks, Encana Corporation (ECA.TO) gained nearly 1%, while Cenovus Energy Inc. (CVE.TO) declined by nearly 1% and Vermilion Energy Inc. (VET.TO) eased by 1.35%.

In the materials space, Teck Resources (TECK.B.TO) moved up 1.4%, Wheaton Precious Metals Corp. (WPM.TO) gained 1.3% and Methanex Corporation (MX.TO) added nearly 1%. CCL Industries Inc. (CCL.B.TO) declined by 1.3%.

Among technology stocks, Open Text Corporation (OTEX.TO) gained 1.2%, while most of the other top stocks in the sector ended little changed from previous closing levels.

Consumer staples stock Loblaw Companies declined by 1.45%, George Weston (WN.TO) ended 1.2% down, Empire Company (EMP.A.TO) ended lower by more than 3.5% and Maple Leaf Foods Inc. (MFI.TO) shed 1.2%, while Premium Brands Holdings Corporation (PBH.TO) gained about 1%.

Among bank stocks, Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO), Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) and Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) gained 0.3 to 0.7%.

Dollarama Inc. (DOL.TO) ended 3.4% down, extending recent losses on poor results. Cronos Group Inc. (CRON.TO), Kinross Gold Corporation (K.TO), CannTrust Holdings (TRST.TO), Manulife Financial Corporation (MFC.TO), Crescent Point Energy (CPG.TO) and Trican Well Service (TCW.TO) ended higher by 1 to 3%.

K-Bro Linen Inc. (KBL.TO) has announced a dividend of 10.00 cents CDN per common share of the Corporation for the period from September 1 to 30, 2018. The stock declined by about 0.8%.

Lundin Mining Corp. (LUN.TO) is reportedly on the hunt for copper mines and projects. The company is ready to spend about USD3 billion on mergers and acquisitions, its incoming chief executive officer is reported to have said in an interview on Thursday. The stock ended 1.2% down.

Asian stocks ended broadly higher on Friday, buoyed by reports that the US and China might hold a fresh round of trade talks. European markets ended flat after lackluster movements.

On Wall Street, stocks fluctuated over the course of the trading session before ending the day little changed. The roughly flat close came after a report from Bloomberg said President Donald Trump has instructed aides to proceed with plans to impose tariffs on an additional USD200 billion worth of Chinese goods. In economic news from Asia, Chinese industrial output and retail sales figures for August topped forecasts,

In economic news from Europe, the euro area trade surplus declined to the lowest level in four years in July, falling to a seasonally adjusted EUR 12.76 billion from EUR 16.47 billion in June, data from Eurostat showed.

The Bank of France has cut its economic growth forecast for this year through 2020 amid the less dynamic and more uncertain external situation.

In US economic news, the Commerce Department said retail sales inched up by 0.1% in August after climbing by an upwardly revised 0.7% in July.

A report from the University of Michigan showed consumer sentiment index jumped to 100.8 in September from 96.2 in August. Economists had expected the index to inch up to 96.6.

According to a report from the Federal Reserve, industrial production climbed by 0.4% in August, matching the upwardly revised increase in July. Economists had expected production to rise by 0.3% compared to the 0.1% uptick originally reported for the previous month.

In commodities, Crude oil futures for October delivery settled at USD68.99 a barrel, up USD0.40, or 0.6%, for the session.

Gold futures for December ended down USD7.10, or 0.6%, at USD1,201.10 an ounce. For the week, gold futures gained USD0.70.

Silver futures for December settled at USD14.142 an ounce, down USD0.102 from previous close.

Copper futures for December ended down USD0.370, at USD2.460 per pound.

Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX

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