Toronto stocks lower as key sectors step back; Loonie climbs higher

Canada’s main stock index closed down Thursday as the key energy, financial and materials sectors all lost ground while U.S. markets were up and the loonie rose.

Energy stocks slipped despite another day of gains for crude prices after the August crude contract ended up 69 cents at US$73.45 per barrel.

Thursday’s gains add to the US$4.68 rise in oil prices in the previous two days to put crude at its highest price since late 2014.

The S&P/TSX capped energy index was down 0.74 per cent on the day but up 4.96 per cent for the week so far.

The overall S&P/TSX composite index closed down 51.36 points at 16,179.89 as gains in health care, consumer staples and information technology weren’t enough to counter losses in larger sectors.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 98.46 points at 24,216.05. The S&P 500 index ended up 16.68 points at 2,716.31 and the Nasdaq composite index was up 58.59 points at 7,503.68.

Stocks in the U.S. rose after dipping a day earlier as investors continue to grapple with trade issues, said Anish Chopra, managing director with Portfolio Management Corp.

“Markets are now getting more accustomed that investors will have to live with some level of trade uncertainty.”

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 98.46 points at 24,216.05. The S&P 500 index ended up 16.68 points at 2,716.31 and the Nasdaq composite index was up 58.59 points at 7,503.68.

The Canadian dollar averaged 75.37 cents US, up 0.22 of a US cent. The loonie had started the day lower following a speech by Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz Thursday but gained throughout the day.

The higher oil price likely helped boost the loonie Thursday, said Chopra.

“Certainly the strength of the oil price is playing into it. When you’re looking at explaining daily moves, it’s certainly an important factor in what’s happening today.”

He said the Poloz speech did little to give any indication of whether a rate hike is coming July 11, leaving uncertainty on the decision.

The August gold contract closed down $5.10 at US$1,251 an ounce and the September copper contract was down four cents at US$2.97 a pound. The August natural gas contract was down four cents at US$2.94 per mmBTU.

Just Posted

Backlog of irregular asylum claims has ballooned to over 28,000

OTTAWA — The backlog of asylum claims from irregular migrants awaiting a… Continue reading

Canada Post asks for halt to international shipments as parcel backlog grows

OTTAWA — Canada Post has asked its international partners to halt mail… Continue reading

Killer wildfire, bar shooting draw Trump to California

WASHINGTON — The killer wildfire in Northern California and the recent country-music… Continue reading

Georgia derailment leads to town’s evacuation

BYROMVILLE, Ga. — A small Georgia town has been evacuated after a… Continue reading

Trump visits as California struggles to locate 1,000 people

PARADISE, Calif. — President Donald Trump heads to Northern California on Saturday… Continue reading

UK leader fights back against critics amid Brexit upheaval

LONDON — British Prime Minister Theresa May fought back against critics of… Continue reading

Workers at Quebec-run liquor stores begin 3-day strike, shutting down most outlets

MONTREAL — A labour dispute that began with stickers on store windows… Continue reading

Trump’s heated rhetoric not in line with U.S. actions: American senators

HALIFAX — Two outspoken U.S. senators — one Republican and one Democrat… Continue reading

B.C. government to bring lower transgender surgery to the province

VANCOUVER — Gwen Haworth says she always knew her gender identity, even… Continue reading

Action needed to reverse Canada’s wildlife decline, conservationists say

MONTREAL — Canada may be known for its wide-open spaces and wildlife,… Continue reading

Vancouver lawyer who prosecuted Khmer Rouge leaders welcomes genocide verdict

OTTAWA — A Vancouver lawyer who helped prosecute two of the Khmer… Continue reading

Trade war between U.S., China shows no sign of abating amid tough talk at APEC

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea — Leaders from the world’s two biggest… Continue reading

Most Read