(RTTNews.com) - The Canadian stock market is losing ground in early trade Thursday. A pullback in commodity prices is weighing on shares of energy and gold stocks this morning. Meanwhile, healthcare and financial stocks are providing some support.
Markets in Europe have dropped into negative territory Thursday, after posting slight gains at the open. Bank of England's rate-setting body witnessed a growing divide at the June meeting, after its chief economist Andrew Haldane joined the hawks seeking an interest rate hike. Six members of the Monetary Policy Committee including Governor Mark Carney voted to maintain the benchmark rate at 0.50 percent, while three members preferred a quarter-point rate hike.
Markets on Wall Street are losing ground in early trade Thursday. Lingering concerns about the trade dispute between the U.S. and China are weighing on the markets along with uncertainty the outcome of this week's OPEC meeting. Saudi Arabia and Russia are reportedly pushing for an increase in oil production, with OPEC expected to announce its decision on output on Friday.
The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index is down 56.14 points or 0.34 percent at 16,364.81.
On Wednesday, the index closed up by 104.42 points or 0.64 percent, at 16,420.95. The index scaled an intraday high of 16,444.45 and a low of 16,374.68.
The Energy Index is rising 0.80 percent. Crude oil prices are falling Thursday as yesterday's rally proved short-lived.
Crescent Point Energy (CPG.TO) is weakening by 1.70 percent and Cenovus Energy (CVE.TO) is falling 2.42 percent. Encana (ECA.TO) is declining 2.06 percent and Suncor Energy (SU.TO) is decreasing 0.64 percent. Husky Energy (HSE.TO) is down 1.23 percent and Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) is losing 1.13 percent. Enbridge (ENB.TO) is surrendering 0.97 percent.
The Capped Information Technology Index is losing 0.76 percent. BlackBerry (BB.TO) is declining 1.96 percent and Descartes Systems Group (DSG.TO) is down 0.50 percent.
The Capped Industrials Index is down 0.73 percent. Canadian Pacific Railway (CP.TO) is losing 1.35 percent and Canadian National Railway (CNR.TO) is surrendering 0.51 percent. Finning International (FTT.TO) is declining 2.85 percent and WestJet Airlines (WJA.TO) is falling 1.57 percent.
The Capped Materials Index is down 0.50 percent. Franco-Nevada (FNV.TO) is losing 0.32 percent and Agnico Eagle Mines (AEM.TO) is dipping 0.15 percent. Nutrien (NTR.TO) is weakening by 0.01 percent.
The Gold Index is decreasing 0.38 percent. Gold prices continue to fall Thursday morning, hitting 2018 lows as the U.S. dollar rises.
B2Gold (BTO.TO) is decreasing 0.15 percent and Kinross Gold (K.TO) is falling 0.20 percent. Goldcorp (G.TO) is down 1.27 percent and IAMGOLD (IMG.TO) is surrendering 0.39 percent. Eldorado Gold (ELD.TO) is weakening by 2 percent and Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) is losing 0.29 percent. Yamana Gold (YRI.TO) is declining 0.50 percent.
The Capped Healthcare Index is higher by 1.66 percent. Valeant Pharmaceuticals International (VRX.TO) is rising 0.18 percent and Tecsys (TCS.TO) is adding 0.26 percent.
The heavyweight Financial Index is increasing 0.69 percent. Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) is advancing 0.13 percent and Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) is up 0.30 percent. Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) is climbing 0.25 percent and Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) is higher by 0.17 percent. National Bank of Canada (NA.TO) is rising 0.34 percent and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO) is adding 0.34 percent.
Brookfield Asset Management (BAM.A.TO) is making an offer for Australian nursing home chain Gateway Lifestyle for $686 million. Shares are falling 0.60 percent.
Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Inc. (RBA.TO) is losing 0.89 percent after it sold $44 million in equipment in Houston.
Dalradian Resources Inc.(DNA.TO) is surging 59.34 percent after the company was acquired by Orion Mine.
Fennec Pharmaceuticals Inc. (FRX.TO) said its SIOPEL 6 study met its primary endpoint. The stock is weakening by 3.52 percent.
On the economic front, Canada's wholesale sales edged up 0.1% to $63.1 billion in April. Increases in the machinery, equipment and supplies and the food, beverage and tobacco subsectors were almost completely offset by declines in the motor vehicle and parts subsector, according to Stats Canada.
France's manufacturing confidence remained stable in June, survey data from the statistical office Insee showed Thursday. The manufacturing sentiment index held steady at 110 in June. The score was forecast to fall to 108 in June from May's initially estimated value of 109.
The UK budget deficit reached its lowest May level since 2005, figures from the Office for National Statistics showed Thursday.
Public sector net borrowing, excluding public sector banks, decreased by GBP 2.0 billion from last year to GBP 5.0 billion in May. This was the lowest May net borrowing since 2005 and below the expected level of GBP 6.3 billion.
First-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits edged lower in the week ended June 16th, according to a report released by the Labor Department on Thursday. The report said initial jobless claims dipped to 218,000, a decrease of 3,000 from the previous week's revised level of 221,000.
Economists had expected jobless claims to inch up to 220,000 from the 218,000 originally reported for the previous week.
A report released by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia on Thursday showed a much bigger than expected slowdown in the pace of growth in regional manufacturing activity in the month of June.
The Philly Fed said its index for current general activity slumped to 19.9 in June from 34.4 in May. While a positive reading still indicates growth in regional manufacturing activity, the index had been expected to dip to 29.0.
In commodities, crude oil futures for July delivery are down 0.35 or 0.53 percent at $65.36 a barrel.
Natural gas for July is up 0.044 or 1.48 percent at $3.008 per million btu.
Gold futures for August are down 6.80 or 0.53 percent at $1,267.70 an ounce.
Silver for July is down 0.024 or 0.15 percent at $16.285 an ounce.
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