TSX Fades to Begin Friday

International Petroleun, Parkland in Focus

Equity markets in Canada handed back some strength at the open on Friday, lifted by a bounce in energy shares as oil prices continued to rise, but sentiment was still fragile on fears of a deep recession fueled by the coronavirus pandemic.

The TSX Composite Index subsided 66.34 points to begin Friday at 13,031.56.

The Canadian dollar inched back 0.09 cents to 70.74 cents U.S.

National Bank of Canada cut the target price on Cenovus Energy to $6.00 from $7.50. Cenovus shares gained 11 cents, or 3.3%, to $3.46.

RBC cut the target price on Imperial Oil to $23.00 from $24.00. IMO shares fell six cents to $17.37.

Stifel FirstEnergy cut the price target on International Petroleum to $2.75 from $3.50. IPCO gathered six cents, or 3.1%, to $2.02.

JP Morgan cut the target price on Parkland Fuel to $45.00 from $49.00. Parkland shares added 77 cents, or 3.2%, to $25.10.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange gained 1.26 points to 387.42.

All but three of the 12 TSX subgroups lost ground in the first hour, with industrials trailing 1%, while financials and consumer staples each dropped 0.7%.

The three gainers were gold, up 1.2%, health-care, up 0.9%, and materials, inching up 0.1%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks fell slightly on Friday to end another volatile week of trading as investors weighed a massive drop in U.S. jobs along with a spike in oil prices.

The Dow Jones Industrials slid 46.55 points, to open Friday’s session at 21,366.89.

The broader S&P 500 handed back 1.89 points to 2,525.01

The NASDAQ Composite eked up 0.38 points to 7,487.69.

The Dow was down 1% for the week entering Friday’s session while the S&P 500 had lost 0.6%. The NASDAQ was down 0.2%.

Both the Dow and S&P 500 remain more than 25% below their respective all-time highs set in February as jitters over the spread of COVID-19 foster volatile trading on Wall Street.

There have been more than 245,000 confirmed infections in the United States and more than 6,000 deaths from COVID-19, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Globally, more than one million cases have been confirmed.

U.S. payrolls fell by 701,000 in March, marking the worst jobs report since 2009, while the unemployment rate jumped to 4.4%. However, the report failed to capture the full extent of the economic blow being dealt by the coronavirus outbreak.

On Thursday, the U.S. Labor Department said jobless claims jumped by a record of 6.6 million for the week of March 27.

Prices for the 10-Year U.S. Treasury progressed, weighing yields to 0.58% from Thursday’s 0.62%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices gained $1.32 to $26.64 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices erased $1.20 to $1,636.50 U.S. an ounce.