TSX Finishes Negative

Discretionary, Tech Issues Present Biggest Problems

Equities in Canada’s largest centre suffered through another losing day, as consumer discretionary and tech issues countered gains in health-care and gold concerns.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index fell 48.73 points to close Thursday at 15,383.95

The Canadian dollar inched up 0.05 cents to 77.96 cents U.S.

The worst culprit among losing groups was in consumer discretionary stocks, as Magna International stepped back $1.93, or 2.7%, to $68.67, while Gildan Activewear retreated 34 cents to $36.88.

Tech stocks took some body blows, as Intrynsic Technologies dipped three cents, or 2.5%, to $1.17, while BlackBerry lopped off five cents to $15.52.

In the industrial sector, Dorel Industries slouched $1.70, or 5.9%, to $27.21, while Bombardier dropped eight cents, or 2%, to $3.98.

Health-care stocks provided a glimmer of hope, as Canopy Growth Corporation gained $2.11, or 7.7%, to $29.46, and Aphria Inc. took on 77 cents, or 5.8%, to $14.00.

Among gold issues, Goldcorp eked up three cents to $16.09, while Kinross Gold prospered nine cents, or 1.8%, to $4.70.

The materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, gained a small amount of ground, as Agnico Eagle Mines gained 52 cents, or 1.1%, to $49.41.

Mexico's economy minister met with top U.S. trade officials on Wednesday midway through the latest push to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, as concerns about steel added to tensions between the two countries.


The TSX Venture Exchange moved up 0.2 points to 829.32

All but three of the 12 TSX subgroups remained negative, with consumer discretionary stocks down 1.1%, information technology discarding 1%, and industrials weaker by 0.9%.

Among gainers, health-care picked up 0.9%, gold shone brighter 0.7%, and materials inched up 0.1%.


Stocks fell with a thud on Thursday after President Donald Trump said the U.S. will implement tariffs on steel and aluminum imports next week.

The Dow Jones Industrials plummeted 420.22 points, or 1.7%, to greet Thursday’s closing bell at 24,608.98, after rising more than 150 points earlier in the day. The 30-stock index fell as much as 586 points.

The S&P 500 let go of 36.16 points, or 1.3%, to 2,677.67, erasing its year-to-date gains — with industrials as the worst-performing sector.
It also briefly broke below its 100-day moving average, a key technical level.

The NASDAQ Composite jettisoned 92.45 points, or 1.3%, to 7,180.56, and dipped below its 50-day moving average.

The U.S. will set tariffs of 25% for steel and 10% for aluminum, the president said. It is unclear whether they will apply to all imports or only metals from certain countries.

Shares of Ford Motor dropped 3% and General Motors fell nearly 4%. Boeing, Cummins, Johnson Controls and United Technologies — other users of steel and aluminum — also helped lead the market lower. Steel stocks like U.S. Steel and AK Steel posted strong gains.

Wall Street also digested fresh testimony from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell. Powell spoke before the Senate Finance Committee later on Thursday.

On the data front, the Commerce Department said consumer spending rose 0.2% in January, while personal income rose 0.4%. The core personal consumption expenditures price index, meanwhile, advanced 1.5% on an annualized basis, in line with expectations.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year Treasury note moved sharply higher, lowering yields to 2.81% from Wednesday’s 2.87%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices eased 30 cents a barrel to $61.34 U.S.

Gold prices dropped 40 cents at $1,317.50 U.S. an ounce.