TSX Lower as Energy Stocks Weigh

Sun Life, Magna in Focus

Canada's main stock index opened lower on Friday, weighed by energy stocks as oil weakened on concerns of a slowdown in fuel demand recovery due to a resurgence in coronavirus cases.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index deducted 46.92 points in Friday’s first hour of trading to 16,532.18.

The Canadian dollar eased 0.34 cents to 74.74 cents U.S.

Sun Life Financial beat analyst estimates for second-quarter core earnings on Thursday, helped by lower claims on some health plans, particularly in the United States, and the positive impact of investing activity.

Sun Life dropped 11 cents a share to $53.87.

Magna International on Friday reported better-than-expected quarterly revenue and forecast full-year sales above estimates, as auto sales in North America showed signs of a recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The car parts maker saw its shares drop 56 cents to $64.75.

National Bank of Canada raised the rating on Crew Energy to sector perform from underperform. Crew shares let go of a penny, or 3.1%, to 31.5 cents.

CIBC raised the rating on First Capital REIT to outperform from neutral. Units of First Capital galloped 42 cents, or 3.1%, to $14.11.

Canaccord Genuity raises rating on Quebecor to buy from hold. Quebecor shares gained 86 cents, or 2.7%, to $32.60.

On the economic calendar, Statistics Canada revealed the economy got 419,000 jobs back in July, rising 2.4%, compared with the 953,000-job, or 5.8%, rise in June. Combined with gains of 290,000 in May, this brought employment to within 1.3 million (or 7.0%) of its pre-COVID February level.

The IVEY School of Business at Western University released its Purchasing Managers Index for July. The index jumped to 68.2, outdistancing the 58.2 reading in June and topping the 54.2 standing in July 2019.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange faded 4.99 points to open Friday at 737.12

Eight of the 12 TSX subgroups were lower in the first hour of trading, as health-care ailed 2%, while gold and materials were each lower by 1.3%.

The four gainers were led by industrials, up 0.6%, real-estate, ahead 0.4%, and utilities, inching up 0.2%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks fell on Friday as lingering tensions between China and the U.S., coupled with ongoing coronavirus stimulus negotiations, dampened the market’s enthusiasm over a strong jobs report.

The Dow Jones Industrials cooled off 77.31 points to 27,309.67

The S&P 500 lost 6.73 points to 3,342.43.

The NASDAQ slumped 25.1 points, to begin Friday at 11,082.97.

President Donald Trump issued on Thursday executive orders to address "the threat posed" by Chinese apps TikTok and WeChat. As part of the order, any transaction with ByteDance and Tencent, the parent companies of TikTok and WeChat, respectively, will be barred in 45 days.

It comes as tensions between Washington and Beijing continue to escalate over several issues including the origins of the coronavirus and democracy in Hong Kong. Bloomberg News reported Friday the U.S. was poised to sanction Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam.

The U.S. economy added 1.763 million jobs in July, the Labor Department said Friday. Economists polled by Dow Jones expected a gain of 1.4 million. The U.S. unemployment rate was also better than expected, falling to 10.2%. The jobs reports for June and May were also revised sharply higher.

Prices for the 10-Year Treasury moved slightly ahead, dropping yields to 0.54% from Thursday’s 0.54%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices subtracted 20 cents to $41.99 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices leaped $25.90 to $2,075.20 U.S. an ounce.