TORONTO — Canada’s main stock index headed into a long weekend by reaching another record high before ending weaker on Friday despite the energy sector rebounding from three days of declining crude oil prices.
The S&P/TSX composite index closed down 15.65 points to 19,527.30, after reaching an intraday record of 19,614.78.
“It’s just generally one of those quieter summertime Fridays before a long weekend with lighter volumes,” said Colin Cieszynski, chief market strategist at SIA Wealth Management.
The TSX rose less than one per cent in a week in which it set record highs several times.
South of the border was more volatile where three down days were followed by a rebound and was then flat to close out trading.
In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 123.69 points at 34,207.84. The S&P 500 index was down 3.26 points at 4,155.86, while the Nasdaq composite was down 64.75 points at 13,470.99.
“I’d call this week choppy and quite volatile and it’s not unusual to get this kind of trading in the middle of May to the end of June,” Cieszynski said in an interview.
In fact, he said it’s the second-most choppy period of the year after mid-August to mid-October, when newsflow dries up and volumes lighten.
Sectors on the TSX didn’t move much while eight of the 11 major sectors were lower.
Materials fell on the day as metal prices retreated with gold, silver, copper, platinum and palladium all down.
The June gold contract was down US$5.20 at US$1,876.70 an ounce and the July copper contract was down 8.7 cents at US$4.48 a pound.
“Gold, it’s held up pretty well on a tough day for metals,” Cieszynski said.
Hudbay Minerals Inc. was down 3.4 per cent and First Quantum Minerals Ltd. was 2.5 per cent lower.
Industrials dipped with shares of Canadian National Railway Co. down 1.9 per cent after Kansas City Southern agreed to its merger proposal. Technology was also down despite another 6.1 per cent gain by Lightspeed POS Inc.
Energy climbed after three days of crude oil price declines over worries that an Iranian nuclear deal would increase the global oil supply.
The July crude oil contract was up US$1.64 at US$63.58 per barrel and the July natural gas contract was down 1.4 cents at US$2.98 per mmBTU.
Shares of Enerplus Corp., Imperial Oil and Crescent Point Energy Corp. were each up 1.1 per cent.
After surpassing 83 cents US earlier in the day, the Canadian dollar traded for 82.91 cents US in the afternoon, compared with 82.85 cents US on Thursday.
The loonie was helped by retail sales rising 3.6 per cent in March, although April will be a test for the impact of lockdowns.
Investors will be watching earnings reports next week from Canadian banks to see if they follow their U.S. peers in cutting loan loss provisions, whether they increase dividends and what they say about the Canadian economy, said Cieszynski.
“Their results will include April, so we should get an idea of how much of an impact has the last round of lockdowns had on the Canadian economy.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 21, 2021.
Companies in this story: (TSX:HBM, TSX:FM, TSX:LSPD, TSX:ERF, TSX:IMO, TSX:CPG, TSX:CNR, TSX:GSPTSE, TSX:CADUSD=X)
Ross Marowits, The Canadian Press