Stocks take knocks

Bank rate effect settles in

Stock indices in Canada’s largest market fell on Wednesday on concerns of a full-scale trade war between the United States and China after President Donald Trump threatened to impose more levies on Chinese goods.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index retreated 125.63 points from Tuesday’s all-time record close, to greet noon at 16,423.09

The Canadian dollar inched back 0.02 cents at 76.08 cents U.S.

Top percentage gainers on the TSX were B2Gold Corp, which jumped eight cents, or 2.5%, to $3.32, and Vermilion Energy, which rose 15 cents to $48.86

Copper miner First Quantum Minerals slipped $1.27, or 6.4%, to $18.52, making it the top decliner on the TSX, as copper prices fell, followed by diversified miner, Teck Resources' decline of $1.41, or 4.2%, to $31.83

The most heavily traded shares by volume were Bombardier – up nine cents, or 1.7%, to $5.49 – and Aurora Cannabis – up three cents to $9.15.

On the economic docket, the Bank of Canada – to no one’s surprise -- increased its target for the overnight rate to 1.5%. The Bank Rate is correspondingly 1.75% and the deposit rate is 1.25%


The TSX Venture Exchange staggered 8.12 points, or 1.1%, to 732.22

All but one of the 12 TSX subgroups were lower midday, led by materials, suffering 2.1%, while gold and energy each dulled in price 1.3%

Health-care's gain of 0.3% broke the shutout.


Stocks traded sharply lower on Wednesday as a trade war between the U.S. and other major economies intensified, with the Trump administration unveiling new tariffs on Chinese goods.

The Dow Jones Industrials dropped 203.60 points to 24,716.06, with Caterpillar and Chevron as the biggest decliners.

The S&P 500 dipped 19.4 points to 2,774.44, as energy, materials and industrials all fell more than 1%.

The NASDAQ lost 45.43 points to 7,713.77

Shares of Boeing and Caterpillar — two companies with high overseas revenue exposure — fell more than 1.5% each. Chipmakers also pulled back as Nvidia, Intel and Advanced Micro Devices all dropped more than 1%.

Corporate earnings are expected to have risen 20% in the second quarter. The earnings season got under way this week with PepsiCo reporting better-than-expected earnings on Tuesday. J.P. Morgan Chase, Citigroup and Wells Fargo are all scheduled to report later this week.

Shares of drug makers also fell after Pfizer said it will postpone price increases after a conversation with the president. Pfizer fell 0.4% before the bell, while Biogen also dropped 0.4%. Merck declined 0.7%.

President Donald Trump's administration published late Tuesday a list of 10% duties on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods. The tariffs won’t come into effect immediately, but rather face a review process, with hearings taking place in mid-to-late August.

Trump is currently in Brussels attending a two-day NATO summit. During the first leg of his European trip, the U.S. incumbent has already made headlines by stating that “Germany is totally controlled by Russia,” describing how a number of “inappropriate” oil and gas deals had given Moscow too much influence over Berlin.

Prices for the benchmark for the 10-year U.S. Treasury gained ground, lowering yields to 2.86% from Tuesday 2.87%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices removed $1.70 to $72.41 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices lost eight dollars to $1,247.40 U.S. an ounce.