(RTTNews.com) - The Canadian stock market is losing ground in early trade Thursday. Weakness in commodity prices is weighing on the market this morning, as well as lingering concerns over global trade.
U.S. Treasury Department may have decided not to label China a currency manipulator, but Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that China's lack of transparency over its currency and recent weakness in the yuan are of "particular concern" for the United States and "pose major challenges to achieving fairer and more balanced trade."
Markets in Europe have slipped into the red Thursday afternoon, after early gains eroded.
Markets on Wall Street are struggling in early trade Thursday. Traders continue to digest the minutes of the Federal Reserve's latest monetary policy meeting.
The minutes released Wednesday afternoon showed the Fed continues to favor a "gradual approach" to raising interest rates, with the meeting participants generally judging that the economy was evolving about as anticipated.
The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index is down 25.47 points or 0.16 percent at 15,504.43.
On Wednesday, the index closed down by 49.84 points or 0.32 percent, at 15,529.90. The index scaled an intraday high of 15,556.61 and a low of 15,452.67.
The Energy Index is falling 0.94 percent. Encana (ECA.TO) is down 0.96 percent and Crescent Point Energy (CPG.TO) is losing 1.48 percent. Cenovus Energy (CVE.TO) is weakening by 1.24 percent and Imperial Oil (IMO.TO) is declining 0.41 percent. Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) is lower by 1.37 percent and Suncor Energy (SU.TO) is forfeiting 0.64 percent.
The Capped Industrials Index is down 0.64 percent. Canadian Pacific Railway (CP.TO) is falling 0.49 percent and Canadian National Railway (CNR.TO) is losing 0.68 percent. Finning International (FTT.TO) is declining 4.39 percent and Air Canada (AC.TO) is surrendering 0.94 percent.
The heavyweight Financial Index is decreasing 0.27 percent. Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) is losing 0.55 percent and Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) is weakening by 0.23 percent. Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO) is down 0.26 percent and Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) is falling 0.28 percent. National Bank of Canada (NA.TO) is lower by 0.26 percent and Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) is dipping 0.06 percent.
The Gold Index is increasing 1.19 percent. Kinross Gold (K.TO) is higher by 0.54 percent and Goldcorp (G.TO) is gaining 0.39 percent. Yamana Gold (YRI.TO) is climbing 1.16 percent and B2Gold (BTO.TO) is adding 0.88 percent. Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) is advancing 2.72 percent.
IAMGOLD (IMG.TO) is up 0.39 percent after it made a strategic investment in Emergent Technology Holdings LP, a financial technology company that uses blockchain technology to track the provenance of responsibly sourced gold.
The Capped Information Technology Index is gaining 0.34 percent. BlackBerry (BB.TO) is rising 0.39 percent and Constellation Software (CSU.TO) is climbing 0.65 percent. Sierra Wireless (SW.TO) is up 0.04 percent.
The Capped Telecommunication Services Index is up 0.31 percent. BCE (BCE.TO) is higher by 0.64 percent and Rogers Communications (RCI-B.TO) is rising 0.19 percent.
Maxar Technologies company's (MAXR.TO) is climbing 1.93 percent after its subsidiary, Radiant Solutions, announced a $92 million contract award on a Small Business Innovation Research Phase III contract with the National Geospatial- Intelligence Agency to rapidly develop, prototype, and deploy machine learning and crowdsourcing capabilities to augment a wide variety of NGA missions.
Kinder Morgan Canada Limited (KML.TO) is falling 2.56 percent after it reported third quarter net income of $1,349.4 million, up from $42.4 million in the third quarter of 2017. The surge in income was primarily due to the $1,308.0 million gain, net of tax, on the sale of the Trans Mountain pipeline system.
On the economic front, Germany's wholesale prices rose at a slower pace in September, data from Destatis revealed Thursday. Wholesale price inflation slowed to 3.5 percent from 3.8 percent in August.
UK retail sales dropped more-than-expected in September reflecting the biggest decline in food store sales in almost two years, figures from the Office for National Statistics revealed Thursday.
Retail sales including auto fuel fell 0.8 percent month-on-month in September, due mainly to a large decline of 1.5 percent in food stores, which was the largest food store sales fall since October 2015. Economists had forecast retail sales to fall 0.4 percent offsetting August's 0.4 percent rise.
First-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits showed a modest decrease in the week ended October 13th, according to a report released by the Labor Department on Thursday. The report said initial jobless claims slipped to 210,000, a decrease of 5,000 from the previous week's revised level of 215,000.
Economists had expected jobless claims to edged down to 212,000 from the 214,000 originally reported for the previous week.
A report released by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia on Thursday showed manufacturing activity in the Philadelphia area grew at a slightly slower rate in the month of October.
The Philly Fed said its diffusion index for current general activity edged down to 22.2 in October from 22.9 in September, although a positive reading still indicates growth in regional manufacturing activity. The index had been expected to drop to 20.0.
A report released by the Conference Board on Thursday showed a continued increase by its index of leading economic indicators in the month of September. The Conference Board said its leading economic index climbed by 0.5 percent in September after rising by 0.4 percent in August. The increase by the index matched economist estimates.
In commodities, crude oil futures for November delivery are down 0.53 or 0.76 percent at $69.22 a barrel.
Natural gas for November is down 0.082 or 2.47 percent at $3.238 per million btu.
Gold futures for December are down 0.10 or 0.01 percent at $1,227.30 an ounce.
Silver for December is down 0.083 or 0.57 percent at $14.58 an ounce.
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