TSX off 6-Mo. Highs

BRP, MEG in Focus

Canada's main stock index pulled back from six-month highs on Friday after the country's overall inflation missed the central bank's target for the second straight month, while energy stocks came under pressure from a drop in oil prices.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index hurtled earthward 153.3 points to approach noon Friday at 16,091.29

The Canadian dollar slipped 0.28 cents at 74.52 cents U.S.

BRP Inc, which had started the day in positive ground, quickly fell $1.14, or 3%, to $37.37, after posting fourth-quarter results, while Fortuna Silver Mines edged up two cents to $4.93.

MEG Energy fell 28 cents, or 4.8%, the most on the TSX, to $5.51. The second biggest decliner was Baytex Energy, down 13 cents, or 5.2%, to $2.37.

On the economic beat, Statistics Canada reported retail sales faded for the third consecutive month, declining 0.3% to $50.1 billion in January. Lower sales – lower by 1.5% -- at motor vehicle and parts dealers contributed to the majority of the decline. Excluding sales in this sub-sector, retail sales increased 0.1%.

The Consumer Price Index rose 1.5% on a year-over-year basis in February, up from a 1.4% increase in January. On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, the CPI increased 0.3% in February.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange slumbered 3.82 points to 637.39

Eight of the 12 Toronto subgroups were on the downside midday, as health-care ailed 3%, energy was 2.8% less energetic, and information technology clicked lower 1.6%.

The four gainers were led by gold, up 0.5%, utilities, ahead 0.4%, and communications, gaining 0.2%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks dropped on Friday as jitters over the global economy were sparked by dreadful manufacturing data out of Europe and the Federal Reserve's cautious outlook on the U.S. economy.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted 381.98 points, or 1.5%, to steer into noon at 25,580.53, as Nike and Boeing shares underperformed.

The S&P 500 dumped 45.15 points, or 1.6%, to 2,809.73, led by declines in the energy and financials sectors, as the broad index headed for its worst day since Jan. 3.

The NASDAQ Composite dropped 155.57 points, or 2%, to 7,682.35

Nike shares also pressured stocks. The athletic apparel company's stock fell 5.3% on the back of weak quarterly sales growth in North America.

Boeing shares also dropped 2% after Indonesian airline Garuda canceled a $6-billion order for 49 Boeing 737 Max jets.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury spiked, weighing yields to 2.42% from Thursday’s 2.54%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices fell $1.37 to $58.61 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices added $4.40 to $1,311.70 U.S. an ounce.