Markets End Day Flat

Miners Prove Strongest

Equity markets in Canada’s largest centre barely moved in light trading Thursday, as gains in resource stocks were overshadowed by losses for consumer staple stocks.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index held onto gains of only 0.72 points to close Thursday at 16,074.30

The Canadian dollar subtracted 0.07 cents to 78.63 cents U.S.

Materials stocks led the way, with Lundin Mining picking up 22 cents, or 2.3%, to $9.71. First Quantum Minerals gained 12 cents to $15.79.

The energy group gained, with Enbridge climbing 57 cents, or 1.2%, to $47.58, while Enerplus added nine cents to $11.58.

Among gold plays, Barrick Gold Corp rose 34 cents, or 1.9%, to $18.30.

In the consumer discretionary field, Canadian Tire faded 64 cents to $160.46, while Magna International dropped 81 cents, or 1.2%, to $68.20.

Among consumer staples, Loblaw Companies skidded 27 cents to $68.22, while Metro slid $1.03, or 2.5%, to $40.00.

Health-care issues ventured slightly south, as Valeant Pharmaceuticals demurred four cents to $20.99, while Canopy Growth dipped 40 cents, or 2.1%, to $18.95.

On the economic beat, Statistics Canada reported that those drawing employment insurance in September decreased by 11,600, or 2.2%, in September to 509,900. This decline follows a 2.4% decrease in August and continues the downward trend that began in October 2016.

Elsewhere, retail sales edged up 0.1% to $49.1 billion in September. Higher sales at gasoline stations, particularly due to higher prices, were the main contributor to the gain. Excluding sales in this sub-sector, retail sales declined 0.2%.

Economists said sales were to have rebounded to 0.9% from a 0.3% fall in the previous month.

The Trudeau government said Canada will create up to 100,000 affordable housing units as part of a national housing strategy, but critics said the long-awaited plan did nothing to free up more land to help stem a growing affordability crisis.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange inched up 1.29 points to 792.78

The 12 TSX subgroups were equally split between gainers and losers, as materials strengthened 0.5%, while gold and energy added 0.3% each.

The half-dozen laggards were weighed most by consumer staple and discretionary stocks, each down 0.4%, while health-care doffed 0.3%.

Gold prices weakened $3.25 to $1,288.90 U.S. an ounce.

ON WALLSTREET

Markets south of the border are closed for Thanksgiving. They will reopen Friday for an abbreviated session.