Negative Finish to Week

Health-Care Ails, Gold Shines

Equities in Toronto stumbled to end the week as fears of a broadening global economic slowdown and data that showed a rise in unemployment rate kept investors away from riskier bets.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index lost 70.03 points – off its lows of the morning -- to end the day and the week at 15,633.33

The Canadian dollar recovered 0.22 cents to 75.34 cents U.S.

Health-care stocks took the heaviest blows Friday, as Canopy Growth, which tumbled $2.27, or 3.6%, to $60.08, while Bausch Health Companies staggered 21 cents to $32.52.

Energy issues suffered as well, as Suncor docked 68 cents, or 1.6%, to $42.70, while Imperial Oil retreated 58 cents, or 1.6%, to $35.40.

In consumer discretionary stocks, Magna International faded $1.23, or 1.8%, to $66.25, while Gildan Activewear slid 23 cents to $45.64.

Among the largest percentage gainers on the TSX were shares of Semafo, which jumped 15 cents, or 5.3%, to $2.98, after reporting its 2019 outlook. Barrick Gold took on 38 cents, or 2.1%, to 18.11.

In the tech sector, Shopify climbed $4.93, or 2.2%, to 233.65

In the materials sector, Agnico Eagle Mines lofted 51 cents to $57.50, while Frontier Lithium gained 1.5 cents, or 4.1%, to 38 cents.

In the economic docket, Statistics Canada said the economy created 67,000 jobs in January, mostly among youth aged 15 to 24 and in the services-producing industries.

The unemployment rate increased 0.2 percentage points to 5.8% as more people looked for work.

Moreover, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation says the seasonally-adjusted annual rate came in at 207,968 units for the first month of the year compared with 213,630 in December.

Economists had expected an annualized pace of 205,000 for January


The TSX Venture Exchange fell 2.94 points Friday to 611.94

Eight of the 12 TSX subgroups were negative on the day, with health-care woozing 2.6%, energy failing 1.2%, and consumer discretionary off 0.9%.

The four gainers were led by gold, up 1.5%, information technology, better by 0.6%, and materials, up 0.5%.


Blue chips in New York fell on Friday as market participants continued to worry about ongoing U.S.-China trade negotiations as well as slowing economic growth.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average came off its extreme lows of the day, but still finished behind Thursday’s finish by 63.2 points to end Friday at 25,106.33, notching its first three-day losing streak since December.

The S&P 500 shook off earlier losses and actually finished ahead 1.83 points to 2,707.88

The NASDAQ Composite recovered 9.85 points to 7,298.20.

The major indexes were lifted well off their lows in the final minutes of trading. That surge helped the Dow and NASDAQ notch their seventh straight weekly gains. The S&P 500 also posted a small gain for the week.

Qorvo shares dropped $2.03, or 3.1% to $64.50, while Micron Technology lost 80 cents, or 2% to $38.58. Nvidia, meanwhile, regained 75 cents to $148.17.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that the two countries have not yet put together a draft on the matters they agree or disagree. The report comes as a key early March deadline approaches.

It also follows President Donald Trump saying on Thursday he will not meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping before that deadline. White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow also said there is a "pretty sizable distance to go" before China and the U.S. reach a deal.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury gained, lowering yields to 2.64% from Thursday’s 2.66%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices regained nine cents to $52.73 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices gained $3.80 to $1,318 U.S. an ounce.