TSX Fails to Untrack Itself

Aecon in Spotlight

Canada's main stock index was trading flat on Thursday as gains for precious metal miners from a rise in gold prices were offset by losses in energy shares due to a drop in oil price.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index remained negative 11.85 points to greet noon at 16,121.95

The Canadian dollar again plummeted 0.41 cents at 77.47 cents U.S.

Among stocks, shares of Toronto-Dominion Bank rose 55 cents to $76.05, after Canada's second-biggest lender by market value reported second-quarter earnings that were ahead of market expectations.

Royal Bank of Canada reported second-quarter results, sending shares of Canada's biggest lender by market value down $1.62, or 1.6%, to $99.50

The largest percentage gainers on the TSX were Alamos Gold and New Gold. Alamos picked up 29 cents, or 4.3%, to $7.02, while New Gold leaped 18 cents, or 6.2%, to $3.10.

Aecon Group fell $2.63, or 15.2%, to $14.71, the most on the TSX, after Canada blocked a proposed $1.51-billion takeover of the construction company by a Chinese state builder on national security grounds.

Meg Energy Corp fell 30 cents, or 3.1%, to $9.39, and was the second biggest decliner.

On the economic beat, Statistics Canada reported that in March, 471,500 people received regular Employment Insurance benefits, down 7,300 (-1.5%) from February. The agency says the decline continues a downward trend in the number of beneficiaries that began in the autumn of 2016.


The TSX Venture Exchange stepped back 2.34 points to 778.68

Eight of the 12 TSX subgroups were lower, as energy fell 0.7%, with health-care and financial stocks each surrendering 0.4%.

The four gainers were led by gold, shining 1.5% brighter, while materials strengthened 1%, and information technology upped itself 0.8%


U.S. stocks fell sharply Thursday after President Donald Trump announced that the hotly anticipated summit next month with North Korea was cancelled.

The meeting would have been the first face-to-face encounter between a sitting U.S. president and a North Korean leader.

Trump's letter included a mix of both friendly and threatening language, including praise for North Korea's recent release of three American prisoners and a warning about the size of the U.S. nuclear arsenal.

The Dow Jones Industrials tumbled 146.80 points to 24,740.01, following Trump's letter. Goldman Sachs and Boeing led the index lower.

The S&P 500 slumped 11.32 points to 2,721.97, as a continued drop in oil prices and bond yields dragged down energy and financials stocks, respectively

The NASDAQ handed back 18.12 points to 7,407.83, off its lows of the morning, amid losses in Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Intel.

News of the cancellation came shortly after the Commerce Department said that it started an investigation into whether automobile imports "threaten to impair the national security" of the United States.

Shares of electronics and technology retailer Best Buy fell more than 7% Thursday morning after the company reported quarterly earnings. Though the company posted solid quarterly comparable sales and earnings, its online sales growth decelerated.

Domestic online comparable sales growth slowed to 12% growth in the U.S. from a year ago, compared to 22.5% growth.

Best Buy's chief financial officer, Corie Barry, added that the company is not upgrading its full fiscal year outlook during the earnings conference call.

All signs continued to point at a tight labour market, with Thursday's data on new applications for U.S. unemployment rising just slightly to 234,000 for the week ended May 19.

Prices for the benchmark for the 10-year U.S. Treasury were higher, lowering yields to 2.97% from Wednesday’s 2.99%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices fell 81 cents at $71.03 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices gained $13.80 at $1,303.40 U.S. an ounce.