TSX slips despite higher energy prices; U.S. markets get lift from trade hopes


Ross Marowits, The Canadian Press

Published Wednesday, February 13, 2019 10:46AM EST

Last Updated Wednesday, February 13, 2019 4:26PM EST

TORONTO — Canada’s main stock index dipped slightly while U.S. markets were buoyed Wednesday by optimism about a trade deal with China.

The S&P/TSX composite index closed down 15.37 points at 15,626.73, after hitting an intraday high of 15,689.66.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 117.51 points at 25,543.27. The S&P 500 index was up 8.30 points at 2,753.03, while the Nasdaq composite was up 5.76 points at 7,420.38.

“We both started off on a leg up just on the hopes that there could be that breakthrough in that trade war with China, and also the president saying that they’re moving closer to avoiding a government shutdown, but that kind of faded,” said Jayson Moss, research analyst at Franklin Bissett Investment Management.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio later tweeted that he plans to introduce a bill that would end the tax advantage of share buybacks over dividends.

“That took a bit of steam out of markets in the U.S. and I think that kind of took the Canadian market with it a bit,” Moss said.

The Toronto stock market fell as a broad weakness led by technology and materials more than offset gains from the health care and energy sectors.

Several marijuana producers pushed the sector to a 1.9 per cent gain, led by The Green Organic Dutchman Holdings Ltd., which rose 7.55 per cent, and Canopy Growth Corp. up 4.8 per cent.

The energy sector rose about one per cent as the price of West Texas Intermediate increased 1.7 per cent on Saudi Arabia saying it would deliver deeper cuts to crude production.

“The expectation that if a U.S.-China trade deal is ultimately reached, it could result in improved demand for oil, so that’s really lifting all the energy producers and related companies including suppliers,” added Moss.

The March crude contract closed up 80 cents at US$53.90 per barrel and the March natural gas contract was down 11.3 cents at US$2.57 per mmBTU.

Among energy producers, Cenovus Energy Inc. and Crescent Point Energy Corp. gained 5.8 per cent, followed by Encana Corp.

The technology sector lost about 1.1 per cent on a drop in Shopify Inc. shares while the influential materials sector was down 0.75 per cent despite slightly higher metal prices.

The April gold contract was up US$1.10 at US$1,315.10 an ounce and the March copper contract was up 0.1 of a cent at US$2.77 a pound.

Teck Resources closed down 5.5 per cent on weaker-than-expected fourth-quarter result and a disappointing 2019 guidance. Barrick Gold Inc. lost 3.9 per cent after the gold miner reported that it lost US$1.2 billion in the fourth quarter, compared with a loss of US$314 million in the same period a year earlier.

The Canadian dollar traded at an average of 75.53 cents US compared with an average of 75.48 cents US on Tuesday.

“We definitely have seen a more risk-on tone to start 2019 and that’s carried into February,” said Moss.

Source: CTVNews

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