(RTTNews.com) - The Canadian stock market got off to a weak start Thursday, but has since pared its early losses. The market has now inched into positive territory thanks to easing concerns over global trade. Gold and healthcare stocks are struggling this morning, while industrials and energy stocks are on the rise.
The majority of the European markets are trading modestly to the upside Thursday. Automakers are leading the way higher, after U.S. President Donald Trump and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker agreed to work toward zero tariffs, easing immediate concerns about global trade.
Markets on Wall Street are turning in a mixed performance Thursday morning. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq are down, while the Dow Jones is modestly higher. A notable decline by Facebook (FB) is weighing on the Nasdaq after the social media giant reported better than expected second quarter earnings but weaker than expected revenues.
The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index is up 17.38 points or 0.11 percent at 16,438.14.
On Wednesday, the index closed up by 30.63 points or 0.19 percent, at 16,420.76. The index scaled an intraday high of 16,421.92 and a low of 16,350.96.
The Capped Industrials Index is up 0.73 percent. Canadian Pacific Railway (CP.TO) is advancing 1.02 percent and Canadian National Railway (CNR.TO) is rising 0.73 percent. Air Canada (AC.TO) is gaining 4.55 percent and WestJet Airlines (WJA.TO) is adding 0.86 percent. Finning International (FTT.TO) is increasing 1.40 percent and Bombardier (BBD-B.TO) is climbing 1.89 percent.
The Energy Index is rising 0.19 percent. Crude oil prices are nearly flat Thursday morning, after data showed a fall in U.S. inventories and Saudi Arabia said it would "temporarily halt" all oil shipments through the strategic Red Sea shipping lane of Bab al-Mandeb.
Suncor Energy (SU.TO) is higher by 1.62 percent and Husky Energy (HSE.TO) is increasing 1.65 percent.
Crescent Point Energy Corp. (CPG.TO) announced that it has reduced net debt in the quarter by over $390 million, driven by funds flow from operations in excess of capital expenditures and proceeds from recently announced dispositions of approximately $280 million. Shares are down 5.69 percent.
The Capped Telecommunication Services Index is up 0.39 percent. BCE (BCE.TO) is gaining 0.07 percent and Rogers Communications (RCI-B.TO) is advancing 0.76 percent. TELUS (T.TO) is increasing 0.32 percent.
The heavyweight Financial Index is increasing 0.07 percent. Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) is falling 0.31 percent and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO) is adding 0.39 percent.
The Gold Index is decreasing 1.48 percent. Gold prices are slipping Thursday morning after the U.S. and the EU agreed to work on lowering trade barriers.
IAMGOLD (IMG.TO) is down 1.78 percent, Kinross Gold (K.TO) is declining 0.63 percent and Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) is falling 4.34 percent. Eldorado Gold (ELD.TO) is weakening by 3.36 percent and Yamana Gold (YRI.TO) is lower by 0.27 percent.
Goldcorp (G.TO) is weakening by 4.25 percent. The company reported that its second-quarter net loss was $131 million, or $0.15 per share, compared to net income of $135 million or $0.16 per share in the prior year. The latest-quarter was impacted by non-cash foreign exchange losses of $178 million, or $0.20 per share, primarily arising on deferred tax balances.
The Capped Healthcare Index is lower by 1.26 percent. Concordia International (CXR.TO) is weakening by 4.17 percent.
The Capped Materials Index is down 0.62 percent. Agnico Eagle Mines (AEM.TO) is lower by 4.84 percent and Franco-Nevada (FNV.TO) is dropping 0.65 percent.
Ag Growth International Inc. (AFN.TO) announced that it has acquired the Sabe Group Companies, a food processing company based in ChauchÃ©, France. The stock is climbing 2.83 percent.
Maple Leaf Foods Inc. (MFI.TO) reported adjusted EBITDA Margin of 10.1% for the quarter ended June 2018. Sales were up 1.1% in the quarter, after adjusting for IFRS changes, foreign exchange and acquisitions, the company said in its filing to the stock exchange. Shares are slipping 0.57 percent.
Cascades Inc. (CAS.TO) announced that it has acquired the White Birch, Bear Island manufacturing facility in Virginia, for a cash consideration of US$34.2 million. The stock is rising 1.56 percent.
On the economic front, Germany's consumer confidence is set to weaken slightly in August, survey data from market research group GfK showed Thursday. The forward-looking consumer sentiment index fell to 10.6 in August from 10.7 in July. The score was forecast to remain unchanged at 10.7.
French consumer confidence remained stable in July, survey data from the statistical office Insee showed Thursday. The consumer sentiment index held steady at 97 in July. The indicator remained below its long-term average of 100 for the third consecutive month.
First-time claims for unemployment benefits in the U.S. showed a modest increase in the week ended July 21st, according to a report released by the Labor Department on Thursday. The report said initial jobless claims rose to 217,000, an increase of 9,000 from the previous week's revised level of 208,000.
Economists had expected jobless claims to rise to 215,000 from the 207,000 originally reported for the previous week.
A report released by the Commerce Department on Thursday showed a notable increase in new orders for U.S. manufactured durable goods in the month of June. The Commerce Department said durable goods orders jumped by 1.0 percent in June after falling by a revised 0.3 percent in May. Economists had expected durable goods orders to spike by 3.0 percent.
In commodities, crude oil futures for August delivery are up 0.07 or 0.10 percent at $69.37 a barrel.
Natural gas for August is down 0.003 or 0.11 percent at $2.772 per million btu.
Gold futures for August are down 4.80 or 0.39 percent at $1,227.00 an ounce.
Silver for September is down 0.089 or 0.57 percent at $15.50 an ounce.
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