Equities in Canada’s biggest market slipped on Wednesday, weighed by declines for financial and industrial shares, after the resignation of top U.S. economic adviser Gary Cohn added to investor worries of a trade war that could hurt the global economy.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index faded 27.07 points to open Wednesday’s session at 15,518.12
The Canadian dollar gained 0.23 cents to 77.46 cents U.S.
Canadian National Railway said on Wednesday it would invest more than $250 million this year to improve its infrastructure to ease grain supply issues in Western Canada.
An Air Line Pilots Association executive said on Tuesday that WestJet Airlines must change its hiring strategy for the company’s new bargain carrier, Swoop, citing a labour board finding.
WestJet shares gained 12 cents to $25.27.
TD Securities raised the price target on CRH Medical to $3.50 from $2.50. CRH shares dropped a nickel, or 1.2%, to $4.18.
TD Securities raised the rating on Trilogy International Partners to buy from hold. Trilogy shares were unchanged at $5.59.
Raymond James raised the price target on Wajax Corp. to $28.50 from $25.00. Wajax shares lost nine cents to $24.30.
The Bank of Canada did as expected Wednesday, maintaining its trendsetting rate at 1.25%.
Statistics Canada’s trade report showed this country’s merchandise trade deficit totaled $1.9 billion in January, narrowing from a $3.1-billion deficit in December. Imports decreased 4.3% and exports fell 2.1%.
The TSX Venture Exchange gave back 2.4 points to 841.17
Eight of the 12 TSX subgroups stumbled out of the gate, with industrials down 0.4%, while materials and gold dipped 0.3% each
The four gainers were led by health-care, haler 0.5%, telecoms, progressing 0.4%, and information technology, better by 0.3%.
U.S. stocks traded lower on Wednesday on the back of news that Gary Cohn, the chief economic advisor to President Donald Trump, resigned from his post.
The Dow Jones Industrials surrendered 194.96 points to 24,689.16
The S&P 500 skidded 14.03 points to 2,714.09, with consumer staples as the worst-performing sector.
The NASDAQ composite Index cooled off 24.24 points to 7,349.12
Cohn, the free trade advocate and former president at Goldman Sachs, chose to step down from his position after Trump announced that he would impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. Cohn's departure date is expected to come in the following weeks.
Shares of big metal users like General Motors and Boeing fell on the back of the announcement. Both stocks fell about 1% in early trade. Caterpillar also fell more than 1%.
In corporate news, shares of H&R Block rose nearly 13% after the company reported a smaller-than-expected loss for the previous quarter. The company said in a release it had a "strong tax season."
Meanwhile, design software maker Autodesk posted a smaller-than-expected quarterly loss, sending its stock surging by 9.2%.
In economic news, ADP and Moody's Analytics said private-sector jobs grew by 235,000 in February, surpassing an estimate of 195,000. The report is seen as a preview to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' monthly jobs report, which is scheduled to be released Friday.
The Federal Reserve's latest Beige Book is set to be published at 2 p.m. ET.
Prices for the benchmark 10-year Treasury note gained ground, lowering yields to 2.87% from Tuesday’s 2.88%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.
Oil prices gave back 82 cents a barrel to $61.78 U.S.
Gold prices weakened $3.70 at $1,331.50 U.S. an ounce.