Materials, Energy Pull Down TSX

Iamgold Takes Tumble, Osisko Surges

Canada's main stock index fell on Thursday in broad-based declines, as material shares were down on the back of a fall in gold prices and lower oil prices weighed on energy stocks.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index came off its lows of the morning, but still trailed Wednesday’s close by 22.6 points to greet noon at 16,008.64

The Canadian dollar dropped 0.12 cents at 75.8 cents U.S.

Among the largest percentage gainers on the TSX were Osisko Gold Royalties, which rose 66 cents, or 4.8%, to $14.49, followed by Kirkland Lake Gold, which gained $3.13, or 7.1%, to $47.14. Both companies had reported their quarterly results.

Gainers in the group were led by cannabis producers Aphria – up 27 cents, or 2%, to $13.67 -- Cronos Group – up 59 cents, or 2%, to $29.83 -- and Aurora Cannabis, which rose four cents to $9.34.

Iamgold Corp fell 30 cents, or 6.1%, to $4.62, while Hudbay Minerals, down by 39 cents, or 4.4%, to $8.30.

The federal government will unveil its budget for the 2019/20 fiscal year on March 19 and outline ways to provide more access to prescription drugs, Finance Minister Bill Morneau said on Wednesday

On the economic calendar, Statistics Canada said in December, 446,300 people received regular Employment Insurance benefits, up 4,600 or 1.0% from November.

The agency also said wholesale trade rose 0.3% to $63.1 billion in December following a 1.1% decline in November. In volume terms, wholesale sales increased 0.3%.


The TSX Venture Exchange hesitated 0.83 points to 621.50.

Seven of the 12 TSX subgroups had faded into the red by noon hour, as gold lost 0.9%, materials weakened 0.7%, and consumer staples waned 0.6%.

The five gainers were co-led by communications and health-care, each up 0.3%, while real-estate increased 0.2%.


Stocks traded lower on Thursday following the release of disappointing U.S. economic data. Wall Street also kept an eye on Washington as U.S.-China trade negotiations carried on.

The Dow Jones Industrials dropped 65.76 points to 25,888.68, as Johnson & Johnson lagged.

The S&P 500 dropped 6.78 points to 2,777.92, led lower by the communications and real estate sectors.

The NASDAQ Composite wilted 16.93 points to 7,472.14

Durable goods orders for December, meanwhile, rose 1.2%, the Commerce Department said. The department also said core capital goods orders fell 0.7%, while economists expected a gain of 0.2%.

IHS Markit also said its U.S. manufacturing purchasing managers' index fell to 53.7 in February, a 17-month low, from 54.9 last month.

Meanwhile, the Conference Board's leading economic index fell for the second straight month in January, marking the index's first back-to-back pullback since early 2016.

The data releases come a day after the Federal Reserve released the minutes from its January meeting. The minutes highlighted downside risks to the U.S. economy, including "a rapid waning of fiscal policy stimulus, or a further tightening of financial market conditions."

However, the Fed also hinted it may end its balance-sheet normalization process faster than expected. This would be positive for equity investors, as many see the reduction of the balance sheet as a form of tighter monetary policy.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury slid, raising yields to 2.69% from Wednesday’s 2.65%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices doffed 32 cents to $56.84 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices fell $14.50 to $1,333.40 U.S. an ounce.