(RTTNews.com) - The Canadian stock market opened lower Monday morning, but has since climbed into positive territory. Energy stocks are leading the way higher this morning, despite relatively flat crude oil prices. Meanwhile, healthcare stocks are among the weakest performers this morning due to some negative news for Valeant.
Markets in Europe are trading in negative territory Monday. Worries about the escalating trade spat between the U.S. and China are weighing on investor sentiment, as well as political uncertainty in Germany. Chancellor Angela Merkel's leadership is under threat over migrant issues, prompting concerns the collapse of a fragile coalition could lead to a Europe-wide break up.
Markets on Wall Street got off to a weak start Monday, but have since pared their early losses.
The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index is up 37.41 points or 0.23 percent at 16,351.83.
On Friday, the index closed down by 14.54 points or 0.09 percent, at 16,314.42. The index scaled an intraday high of 16,329.94 and a low of 16,257.26.
The Energy Index is rising 0.94 percent. Crude oil prices are little changed Monday morning, hovering around $65 per barrel.
Crescent Point Energy (CPG.TO) is climbing 0.32 percent and Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) is gaining 1.51 percent. Cenovus Energy (CVE.TO) is rising 1.24 percent and Encana (ECA.TO) is advancing 1.37 percent. Suncor Energy (SU.TO) is increasing 1.26 percent and Imperial Oil (IMO.TO) is higher by 1.13 percent.
The heavyweight Financial Index is increasing 0.21 percent. Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) is advancing 0.69 percent and Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) is up 0.45 percent. Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) is climbing 0.23 percent and National Bank of Canada (NA.TO) is adding 0.16 percent. Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) is higher by 0.04 percent and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO) is gaining 0.25 percent.
The Capped Information Technology Index is gaining 0.23 percent. Constellation Software (CSU.TO) is rising 0.92 percent.
The Capped Industrials Index is up 0.20 percent. Canadian Pacific Railway (CP.TO) is gaining 0.54 percent and Finning International (FTT.TO) is adding 0.35 percent. WestJet Airlines (WJA.TO) is rising 0.10 percent.
AutoCanada Inc. (ACQ.TO) said that its board appointed a Special Committee of independent directors to review strategic alternatives. Shares are climbing 1.11 percent.
The Capped Healthcare Index is lower by 1.49 percent. Extendicare (EXE.TO) is losing 0.94 percent and Concordia International (CXR.TO) is down 1.75 percent.
Valeant Pharmaceuticals International (VRX.TO) is falling 6.01 percent after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration failed to approve the company's lotion for plaque psoriasis.
The Gold Index is decreasing 0.11 percent. Gold prices are slightly higher Monday, trimming steep losses from the previous session.
Goldcorp (G.TO) is falling 0.11 percent and Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) is losing 0.12 percent. B2Gold (BTO.TO) is decreasing 0.15 percent.
Magna International Inc. (MG.TO) will form two new joint ventures with Beijing Electric Vehicle Co. Ltd (BJEV) for complete vehicle manufacturing as well as engineering of electric vehicles for customers in China. Magna is higher by 0.35 percent.
Baytex Energy Corp. (BTE.TO) and Raging River Exploration Inc. (RRX.TO) announced their respective boards have unanimously agreed to a strategic combination of the two companies. Baytex is sinking 13.73 percent and Raging River is down 7.64 percent.
On the economic front, British households' financial pressures intensified slightly in June, largely reflecting greater living costs, results of a survey by IHS Markit and market research company Ipsos Mori revealed Monday. The seasonally adjusted Household Finance Index, or HFI, dropped to 43.4 in June from May's 25-month peak of 44.9.
The average asking price for a house in the United Kingdom was up 0.4 percent on month in June, property tracking website Rightmove said on Monday. That followed the 0.8 percent increase in May.
Partly reflecting sharply elevated lumber prices, the National Association of Home Builders released a report on Monday unexpectedly showing a deterioration in U.S. homebuilder confidence in the month of June.
The report said the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index dipped to 68 in June from 70 in May. Economists had expected the index to come in unchanged.
In commodities, crude oil futures for July delivery are up 0.20 or 0.31 percent at $65.26 a barrel.
Natural gas for July is down 0.037 or 1.22 percent at $2.985 per million btu.
Gold futures for August are up 2.70 or 0.21 percent at $1,281.20 an ounce.
Silver for July is down 0.035 or 0.21 percent at $16.445 an ounce.
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