Equities in Toronto opened lower and fell to a new eight-week low as metal prices slipped.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index faded 51.71 points to start Thursday at 15,899.96
The Canadian dollar dropped 0.06 cents to 81.21 cents U.S.
Suncor Energy said on Wednesday that it expected to cut some 400 heavy-equipment operator positions over the next six years as it rolls out a fleet of self-driving trucks at its Canadian oil sand mining operations.
Suncor shares inched up two cents to $44.58.
A recent trade decision allowing Bombardier to sell its newest jets in the United States without hefty duties will boost airline confidence in the program, but the Canadian plane maker still faces challenges to win over lessors.
Bombardier faded four cents, or 1%, to $3.45
CIBC cut the rating on Ivanhoe Mines to neutral from outperform. Ivanhoe shares dropped 28 cents, or nearly 8%, to $3.24.
CIBC raised the rating on Toronto-Dominion Bank to outperform from neutral. TD shares lost 36 cents to $74.46.
Canaccord Genuity cut the rating on Liquor Stores N. A. to hold from buy. Liquor Stores shares dipped 53 cents, or 4.3%, to $11.87.
On the economic slate, Markit Canada’s Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index picked up to 55.9 in January from 54.7 in December, to remain well above the 50.0 no-change threshold. Moreover, the latest PMI reading signaled the joint-strongest improvement in business conditions since April 2011.
The TSX Venture Exchange gained 1.04 points to 865.39
Eight of the 12 TSX subgroups were lower in the first hour of trading, as consumer staples retreated 1.1%, telecoms skidded 0.9%, and financials were off 0.7%.
The four gainers were led by information technology, ahead 1.5%, energy, progressing 0.5%, and gold, shining 0.4% brighter.
U.S. equities opened lower on Thursday, giving back some of the strong gains made during the previous month.
The Dow Jones Industrial shed 24.06 points to 26,125.33
The S&P 500 dipped 1.68 points to 2,823.81, with industrials as the worst-performing sector.
The NASDAQ inched up 0.69 points to 7,412.17
January was the best month for the S&P 500 and Dow since March 2016, while the NASDAQ had its biggest one-month gain since October 2015. The S&P 500 also notched its best January performance since 1997.
But stocks kicked off February on a sour note, as a decline DowDuPont pressured the Dow. The company reported better-than-expected quarterly results, but traded about 1% lower.
Thursday marks the busiest days of the U.S. earnings season, with about 70 companies reporting. Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Visa and Mattel are among the companies scheduled to report. UPS, AutoNation and Blackstone are among the companies that reported before the bell.
Wall Street also looked ahead to Friday’s release of the U.S. government's monthly jobs report. Economists expect the economy to have added 180,000 jobs.
Stocks were also under pressure after the release of weaker-than-expected productivity numbers. The U.S. government said in a preliminary report that fourth-quarter productivity fell 0.1%. Economists expected a gain of 1%.
Prices for the benchmark 10-year Treasury note slipped, raising yields to 2.73% from Wednesday’s 2.72%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.
Oil prices moved up 67 cents a barrel to $65.40 U.S.
Gold prices improved $1.80 to $1,344.90U.S. an ounce.