TSX Again Finishes Negative

Health-Care Falls Most

Equities in Canada’s largest market again came out in the red Wednesday, as health-care stocks turned weaker, and energy couldn’t pick up the slack.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index dawdled 20.54 points to conclude Wednesday’s session at 16,167.56

The Canadian dollar recovered 0.16 cents at 75.21 cents U.S.

Health-care stocks took some bruises Wednesday, as Aurora Cannabis lost 25 cents, or 1.9%, to $12.97, while Bausch Health Companies slumped $1.22, or 3.5%, to $$33.78.

In the consumer discretionary field, Canada Goose Holdings took it on the chin $2.49, or 3.6%, to $66.93, while Canadian Tire handed back $1.81, or 1.3%, to $143.38.

Financials were a bit out of pocket, too, as Royal Bank sank 65 cents to $102.95, while CIBC shrank $1.19, or 1.1%, to $112.15.

Energy stocks tried to balance things out, as Canadian Natural Resources surged 89 cents, or 2.4%, to $37.83, while Imperial Oil gained 42 cents, or 1.2%, to $37.09.

Among gold stocks, Barrick Gold shone brighter 33 cents, or 1.9%, to $17.43, while Kinross Gold gained 15 cents, or 3.4%, to $4.56.

In materials, Agnico Eagle Mines was stronger $1.16, or 2%, to $58.83, while First Quantum Minerals eked up half a cent to $14.70.

As part of Tuesday’s federal budget, Finance Minister Bill Morneau said Canada will create a national drug agency to help cut the cost of prescription medications as part of a plan to broaden the state-funded healthcare program.

Moreover, the government will issue nearly 20% more bonds in the coming fiscal year to help the Liberal government fund its spending programs, ahead of an October election.


The TSX Venture Exchange finished higher 1.9 points to 637.97

Seven of the 12 TSX subgroups were lower, with health-care surrendering 1.9%, consumer discretionary stocks skidding 1.2%, and financials off 0.7%

The five gainers were led by energy, up 2.1%, gold, stronger 1.7%, and materials ahead 0.8%.


Stocks closed mostly lower in New York, after the Federal Reserve's latest monetary-policy announcement dragged Treasury yields lower, pushing bank shares down.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average slumbered 141.71 points to end Wednesday’s session at 25,745.67, as Goldman Sachs weighed most heavily

The S&P 500 sagged 8.34 points to 2,824.23

The NASDAQ Composite came out of its hole and actually gained 5.02 points to 7,728.97

The Fed brought down its 2019 rate-hike forecast to no increases down from two hikes. The central bank also indicated it intends to end the reduction of its massive $4.2-trillion balance sheet by September. However, the Fed also trimmed its economic growth forecast for 2019.

Banks also saw their share of losses, as Goldman Sachs declined 3.5% while Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, J.P. Morgan Chase and Citigroup all fell more than 2%.

FedEx shares fell more than 3% after CFO Alan Graf warned in the company's quarterly report that "slowing international macroeconomic conditions and weaker global trade growth trends continue, as seen in the year-over-year decline in our FedEx Express international revenue."

That warning was followed by UBS CEO Sergio Ermotti saying this is one of the worst first-quarter environments ever as investment banking revenue falls about a third from the year-earlier period. Meanwhile, German auto maker BMW said its earnings could fall significantly in 2019 and added it will cut $13.6 billion in costs.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury gained sharply, lowering yields to 2.53% from Tuesday’s 2.61%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices regained $1.09 to $60.12 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices regained $7.70 to $1,314.20 U.S. an ounce.

Fed Says No More Rate Hikes, Stocks Fall