(RTTNews.com) - The Canadian stock market is losing ground in early trade Wednesday. A number of sectors are trading in the red this morning, including the gold and financial sectors. Meanwhile, energy and healthcare stocks are providing some support.
Markets in Europe have been trading in positive territory for the bulk of Wednesday's session, but have slipped into the red in the past hour. Investors are concerned that big spending plans and other changes proposed by the new coalition government in Italy will increase the country's debt burden.
Markets on Wall Street opened higher Wednesday, but have since pared their early gains.
The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index is down 23.85 points or 0.15 percent at 16,098.40.
On Tuesday, the index closed up by 70.01 points or 0.44 percent, at 16,122.25. The index scaled an intraday high of 16,176.23and a low of 16,079.98.
The Gold Index is decreasing 0.45 percent. Gold prices are inching higher Wednesday morning.
Eldorado Gold (ELD.TO) is lower by 0.33 percent and B2Gold (BTO.TO) is weakening by 0.28 percent. Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) is falling 0.89 percent and IAMGOLD (IMG.TO) is down 1.25 percent. Kinross Gold (K.TO) is losing 0.22 percent.
The Capped Industrials Index is down 0.39 percent. Canadian National Railway (CNR.TO) is weakening by 0.48 percent and Canadian Pacific Railway (CP.TO) is losing 1.13 percent. Finning International (FTT.TO) is falling 1.17 percent and WestJet Airlines (WJA.TO) is declining 0.65 percent.
The Capped Telecommunication Services Index is down 0.39 percent. Rogers Communications (RCI-B.TO) is falling 0.86 percent and BCE (BCE.TO) is losing 0.53 percent.
The heavyweight Financial Index is decreasing 0.15 percent. Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) is losing 0.12 percent and Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) is weakening 0.29 percent. Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) is down 0.46 percent and Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) is dipping 0.06 percent.
The Capped Healthcare Index is higher by 2.53 percent. Valeant Pharmaceuticals International (VRX.TO) is climbing 3.99 percent and Concordia International (CXR.TO) is rising 2.04 percent.
The Energy Index is rising 0.39 percent. Crude oil prices are slightly lower Wednesday morning, even after industry data showed a slightly larger than expected drop in oil inventories.
The American Petroleum Institute (API) reported a draw of 2.028 million barrels of United States crude oil inventories for the week ending June 1. Again, however, gasoline inventories rose ahead of the summer driving season.
The Energy Information Administration reported this morning that U.S. crude inventories increased by 2.1 million barrels last week.
Cenovus Energy (CVE.TO) is climbing 1.01 percent and Suncor Energy (SU.TO) is up 0.57 percent. Encana (ECA.TO) is rising 0.44 percent and Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) is adding 0.27 percent.
On the economic front, Canada's exports rose 1.6% to a record $48.6 billion in April, while imports were down 2.5% to $50.5 billion. As a result, Canada's merchandise trade deficit with the world narrowed from $3.9 billion in March to $1.9 billion in April. Economists had expected a deficit of $3.4 billion.
A separate report from Statistics Canada showed that Canadian building permits dropped 4.6 percent in April.
Germany's construction sector activity expanded at the fastest pace in four months in May, survey data from IHS Markit showed Wednesday. The construction Purchasing Managers' Index rose to 53.9 in May from 50.9 in April. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion in the sector.
Amid ongoing concerns about a global trade war, the Commerce Department released a report on Wednesday showing the U.S. trade deficit unexpectedly narrowed in the month of April. The Commerce Department said the trade deficit narrowed to $46.2 billion in April from a revised $47.2 billion in March.
Economists had expected the deficit to come in unchanged compared to the $49.0 billion originally reported for the previous month.
Labor productivity in the U.S. increased by less than previously estimated in the first quarter, according to a report released by the Labor Department on Wednesday.
The report said labor productivity rose by 0.4 percent in the first quarter compared to the previously estimated 0.7 percent growth. Economists had expected the increase in productivity to be downwardly revised to 0.6 percent.
Meanwhile, the rate of growth in unit labor costs in the first quarter was upwardly revised to 2.9 percent from 2.7 percent. The increase in costs had been expected to be revised to 2.8 percent.
In commodities, crude oil futures for July delivery are down 0.11 or 0.17 percent at $65.41 a barrel.
Natural gas for July is down 0.01 or 0.35 percent at $2.88 per million btu.
Gold futures for August are up 2.20 or 0.17 percent at $1,304.40 an ounce.
Silver for July is up 0.187 or 1.13 percent at $16.73 an ounce.
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