Equities in Canada’s biggest market ended the day at pretty much the same levels at which they started, with gains in resource stocks blotted out by losses in industrial and energy issues.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index nosed ahead 3.91 points to close Tuesday’s session at 15,545.19
The Canadian dollar darted ahead 0.55 cents to 77.59 cents U.S.
Gold producers climbed, helping to support the larger materials sector as gold prices firmed on the potential progress with North Korea.
Goldcorp rose 52 cents, or 3.1% to $17.08, while Kinross Gold gained seven cents, or 1.5%, to $4.80.
Among other resource stocks, Teck Resources advanced 43 cents, or 1.2%, to $36.70, while First Quantum Minerals obtained 18 cents to $20.88.
Consumer staples recovered from yesterday’s negative readings to pull into the green, as Saputo took on 19 cents to $40.26, while Loblaw Companies gained 57 cents to $65.85.
Industrials took on water, as Canadian National Railway was down $1.89, or 1.9%, at $95.27 as CIBC cut its target price to $108.00 from $111.00. The company's chief executive officer abruptly stepped down on Monday.
Bombardier fell 24 cents, or 5.9% to $3.77 after the company said it will sell equity to strengthen its balance sheet as part of a five-year turnaround plan.
In the oil patch, AltaGas backpedaled 19 cents to $23.30, while Suncor lost nine cents to $41.41.
Utilities fell short, too, as Fortis Inc. surrendered 29 cents to $42.65.
Western University’s IVEY School of Business said its seasonally-adjusted Purchasing Managers’ Index increased to 59.6 in February from 55.2 in January and 55 in February 2017. A reading above 50 indicates an increase in the pace of activity.
The TSX Venture Exchange strengthened 4.38 points to 843.57
Seven of the 12 TSX subgroups were higher, with gold shining 1.4% brighter, materials 0.8% better, and consumer staples climbing 0.6%.
The five laggards were weighed most heavily by industrials, sliding 0.7%, energy, down 0.5%, and utilities, off 0.4%.
U.S. stocks closed higher on Tuesday, but Wall Street remained on edge over an ongoing debate over tariffs proposed by President Donald Trump.
The Dow Jones Industrials concluded a roller-coaster by pulling out of negative territory and gaining 9.36 points to finish at 24,884.12, this, after briefly falling as much as 166 points. Earlier in the session, the Dow rose 120 points.
The S&P 500 pulled ahead 7.18 points to 2,728.12, after falling as much as much as 0.4%. General Motors, a company that would be adversely affected by the tariffs, saw its shares rise 0.5%.
The NASDAQ composite Index moved upward 41.3 points to 7,372.01, as shares of Netflix and Amazon rose.
Stocks started to pare gains after Bloomberg News reported citing sources that Trump was convinced Cohn would leave the administration if the tariffs proposed by the president were implemented. Cohn, a former Goldman Sachs executive, was a champion of the tax cuts implemented by the Trump administration last year.
In corporate news, Nordstrom rejected an offer from the Nordstrom family to take the company private for $50 U.S. per share. The Nordstrom family has been working to take the company private since last year.
Harley-Davidson said retaliatory tariffs by other countries on its motorcycles would have a "significant impact" on the company's sales. The company made the statement after European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said last week the European Union would impose tariffs on Harley's motorbikes if Trump moved forward with his tariffs. Harley-Davidson shares fell 2%.
North Korea said there was no need to keep its nuclear program as long as there was no military threat against it and the safety of its regime was secured, the head of the South Korean presidential National Security Office, told a media briefing.
Trump announced last week the U.S. would be imposing new tariffs on aluminum and steel, before going onto threaten European carmakers with a tax on imports if the European Union retaliated over the U.S. administration's tariff plans. However, on Monday, fears eased after
Trump suggested in a tweet that he could drop tariffs if a "new and fair" North American Free Trade Agreement was signed.
Prices for the benchmark 10-year Treasury note fell, raising yields to Monday’s 2.88%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.
Oil prices inched down nine cents a barrel to $62.48 U.S.
Gold prices strengthened $15.10 at $1,335.00 U.S. an ounce.