Stocks Remain Negative as Oil Prices Droop

FirstService Shines, MEG Slumps

Equity prices in Canada’s largest centre dropped for a second day on Thursday, as prices of crude, one of the country's major exports, tumbled and pressured energy stocks.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index decreased 159.21 points, or 1%, to greet noon at 16,168.14

The Canadian dollar slumped 0.19 cents to 74.25 cents U.S.

The largest percentage gainer on the TSX was FirstService Corp, which jumped $7.23, or 6.3%, to 122.79, after a deal to buy Global Restoration Holdings.

Iamgold rose 14 cents, or 4.3%, to $3.40, and New Gold gained three cents, or 3.6%, to 87 cents.

MEG Energy fell 42 cents, or 8.5%, the most on the TSX, to $4.51. The second biggest decliner was Crescent Point Energy, down 38 cents, or 7.5, to $4.70.

On the economic slate, Statistics Canada says wholesale trade rose for the fourth consecutive month, up 1.4% to $64.1 billion in March.

The nation’s number crunchers attribute the hike to higher sales in six sub-sectors, accounting for 82% of total wholesale sales. The motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts and accessories sub-sector was the lone sub-sector to decline.

Elsewhere, the agency says, 436,600 people received regular Employment Insurance benefits in March, down 4,400, or 1%, from February.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange fell 5.19 points to 605.37.

Seven of the 12 Toronto subgroups remained negative midday, with energy collapsing 4.6%, health-care swooning 2.6%, and information technology retreating 1.3%.

The five gainers were led by gold, up 2.2%. while materials and communications each climbing 0.6%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks fell sharply on Thursday as U.S.-China trade worries persisted with more companies suspending business with Chinese telecom giant Huawei.

The Dow Jones Industrials lost 359.38 points, or 1.4%, to 25,417.23, as IBM and United Technologies lagged.

The S&P 500 handed back 40.18 points, or 1.4%, to 2,816.09,

The NASDAQ Composite dropped 129.24 points, or 1.7%, to 7,621.60

U.K.-based chip designer Arm Holdings said it suspended business with Huawei to comply with the U.S. blacklisting of the telecom company. Panasonic also said it stopped shipping some smartphone components to Huawei.

Vodafone and BT Group, the biggest phone carriers in the U.K., said they are removing Huawei phones from their 5G network plans.

Equities extended losses after IHS Markit said U.S. manufacturing activity grew at its slowest pace since September 2009 this month.

Shares of Qualcomm fell 2.6% while Xilinx declined 3.2%. Micron dropped 3.3%., and Lam Research declined 1.5%.

Apple shares also fell 1.6% after a UBS analyst cut his price target on the iPhone maker to $225 per share from $235.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury climbed, lowering yields to 2.32% from Thursday’s 2.39%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices docked $3.24 to $58.18 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices leaped 11 dollars to $1,285.20 U.S. an ounce.