Stocks Crumble to Lows Not Seen in Weeks

Equities in Canada’s main stock market fell to a two-week low on Friday, weighed by declines in energy, financial and industrial shares as oil prices fell and global investors worried about a trade war.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index fell 55.04 points to greet noon at 15,338.91

The Canadian dollar lost 0.31 cents to 77.61 cents U.S.

The energy group retreated, with Suncor Energy down 2.5% at $40.70, as oil prices fell.

Shares of trade-sensitive auto parts and railroad companies added to Thursday's declines. Magna International fell 1% to $68.02 and Canadian Pacific Railway retreated 0.9% to $224.96.

The largest percentage gainer on the TSX was Sleep Country, which rose 12.9% after it reported fourth-quarter results after the close on Thursday.

On the data front, Statistics Canada reported that real gross domestic product grew 0.4% in the fourth quarter, the same rate as the previous quarter. Final domestic demand increased 1.0%. Real GDP edged up 0.1% in December as 13 of 20 industrial sectors increased.

This followed a 0.4% gain in November.

U.S. President Donald Trump unveiled the tariffs on Thursday but did not make clear whether they would apply to Canada, which is the largest supplier of both steel and aluminum to the United States.

Canada's economy could also be impacted by talks with the United States and Mexico to revamp the North American Free Trade Agreement. Canada sends 75% of its exports to the United States.

Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz said markets are adapting to making their own forecasts on where interest rates are going, though he acknowledged the decision to drop forward guidance four years ago has met some criticism.


The TSX Venture Exchange moved down 6.83 points to 822.49

Seven of the 12 TSX subgroups were in the red by noon, with health-care scaling back 1.1%, energy slumping 0.9%, and industrials weaker by 0.8%.

The five gainers were led by telecoms, better by 0.9%, information technology, up 0.8%, gold, ahead 0.7%.


U.S. stocks traded lower on Friday on fears that a trade war could take place after President Donald Trump announced tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

The Dow Jones Industrials came off its lows of the morning, but remained negative 218.71 points to 24,390.27, with McDonald's and Boeing as the worst-performing stocks.

The S&P 500 climbed to within 6.2 points of breakeven to 2,671.47, with industrials and consumer discretionary as the worst-performing sectors.

The NASDAQ Composite ditched 58.84 points to 7,121.56

The major averages were also on track to snap two-week winning streaks. As of mid-morning Friday, the Dow had slid 3.7%, and S&P 500 was down 2.9%. The NASDAQ was down by 4.4% for the week.

Shares of steel and aluminum users like General Motors dipped 2.1%, and Boeing was off 2.7%. On Thursday, they fell 4% and 3.5%, respectively. Meanwhile, U.S. Steel fell 4.2% after posting strong gains in the previous session.

Trump made the announcement on Thursday, noting the U.S. will implement a 25% tariff on steel imports and a 10% tariff on aluminum imports next week. The news sent stocks reeling, with the Dow closing 420 points lower, while the S&P 500 and NASDAQ dropped more than 1%. It also raised concern that other countries may implement retaliatory tariffs on U.S. exports.

Shares of steel and aluminum users like General Motors lost 1.1%, and Boeing fell 3.3%. On Thursday, they fell 4% and 3.5%, respectively. Meanwhile, U.S. Steel slipped 4%, and Century Aluminum fell 2.2%, after posting strong gains in the previous session.

In corporate news, Foot Locker shares dropped 15.1% after the company reported a bigger-than-expected decline in same-store sales for the previous quarter. Foot Locker's same-store sales fell 3.7%, while analysts expected a decrease of 2.5%.

Meanwhile, J.C. Penney's stock pulled back nearly 10% after reporting weaker-than-expected revenue and same-store sales.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year Treasury note caved, raising yields to 2.86% from Thursday’s 2.81%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices recovered 18 cents a barrel to $61.17 U.S.

Gold prices gathered $14.60 at $1,319.80 U.S. an ounce.

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