(RTTNews.com) - The Canadian stock market got off to a weak start Thursday, but has since pared its early losses and is now hovering close to the flat line. Traders are reacting to a large batch of U.S. economic data and major developments in the UK regarding Brexit negotiations.
After a positive start to the day, the European markets have dropped into negative territory. Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab and Northern Ireland minister Shailesh Vara have announced their resignations, dealing a severe blow to UK Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit plans.
Markets on Wall Street are down slightly in early trade Thursday. Traders are digesting a slew of U.S. economic reports this morning.
The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index is down 8.02 points or 0.05 percent at 15,125.10.
On Wednesday, the index closed up by 1.34 points or 0.01 percent, at 15,133.12. The index scaled an intraday high of 15,258.01 and a low of 15,046.76.
The Gold Index is increasing 1.10 percent. Goldcorp (G.TO) is climbing 1.24percent and Eldorado Gold (ELD.TO) is gaining 1.25 percent. Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) is rising 2.31 percent and IAMGOLD (IMG.TO) is up 2.12 percent.
The Capped Materials Index is up 0.91 percent. Franco-Nevada (FNV.TO) is advancing 0.16 percent and Agnico Eagle Mines (AEM.TO) is rising 0.69 percent. Nutrien (NTR.TO) is gaining 1.35 percent.
The Energy Index is rising 0.21 percent. Cenovus Energy (CVE.TO) is advancing 3.15 percent and Imperial Oil (IMO.TO) is gaining 0.60 percent. Husky Energy (HSE.TO) is climbing 0.56 percent and Crescent Point Energy (CPG.TO) is adding 0.59 percent.
The heavyweight Financial Index is decreasing 0.33 percent. Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) is losing 0.14 percent and Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) is down 0.25 percent. National Bank of Canada (NA.TO) is lower by 0.26 percent and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO) is surrendering 0.37 percent. Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) is declining 0.32 percent and Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) is falling 0.25 percent.
The Capped Industrials Index is down 0.33 percent. Canadian National Railway (CNR.TO) is lower by 0.323 percent and WestJet Airlines (WJA.TO) is declining 3.04 percent. Air Canada (AC.TO) is falling 3.98 percent and Finning International (FTT.TO) is lower by 0.62 percent. Bombardier (BBD-B.TO) is decreasing 2.73 percent.
CannTrust Holdings Inc. (TRST.TO) is surging 18.42 percent after it reported record revenues for the third quarter, but a sharp 36% drop in net income. The company said it earned $421,240 or zero cents per share, compared with $655,309 or one cent per share a year earlier.
Canfor Corporation (CFP.TO) is sinking 9.31 percent after it announced that it has entered into an agreement to purchase 70% of the VIDA Group of Sweden for a purchase price of 3,990 million Swedish Krona (approximately CAD$580 million) on a cash and debt free basis, which includes CAD$125 million (70%) of normalized working capital.
Centric Health Corporation (CHH.TO) is declining 11.54 percent after it reported net loss of $0.87 million for the third quarter, as against net profit of $0.25 million in the year ago quarter.
Tervita Corporation (TEV.TO) is gaining 3.28 percent after it announced that its third quarter operations delivered strong performance with Adjusted EBITDA increasing 69% year over year to $71 million, with an Adjusted EBITDA margin of 35%.
On the economic front, UK retail sales declined for a second straight month in October, defying expectations for an increase, amid a sharp decrease in sales of household goods, preliminary data from the Office for National Statistics showed on Thursday.
Sales volume including automotive fuel dropped 0.5 percent from September, when they fell 0.4 percent, revised from a 0.8 percent slump. Economists had forecast a 0.2 percent increase.
On a year-on-year basis, retail sales volume grew 2.2 percent in October, which was the slowest pace in six months. Economists were looking for a 2.8 percent gain.
Retail sales in the U.S. increased by more than anticipated in the month of October, the Commerce Department revealed in a report released on Thursday. The Commerce Department said retail sales advanced by 0.8 percent in October following a revised 0.1 percent dip in September.
Economists had expected retail sales to climb by 0.5 percent compared to the 0.1 percent uptick originally reported for the previous month.
First-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits unexpectedly showed a slight increase in the week ended November 10th, according to a report released by the Labor Department on Thursday. The report said initial jobless claims inched up to 216,000, an increase of 2,000 from the previous week's unrevised level of 214,000. Economists had expected jobless claims to edge down to 212,000.
A report released by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York on Thursday showed the pace of growth in New York manufacturing activity unexpectedly accelerated in the month of November.
The New York Fed said its general business conditions index rose to 23.3 in November from 21.1 in October, with a positive reading indicating growth in regional manufacturing activity. Economists had expected the index to dip to 20.0.
Growth in Philadelphia-area manufacturing activity slowed by much more than expected in the month of November, according to a report released by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia on Thursday.
The Philly Fed said its diffusion index for current general activity tumbled to 12.9 in November from 22.2 in September, although a positive reading still indicates growth in regional manufacturing activity. The index had been expected to dip to 20.0.
A report released by the Labor Department on Thursday showed U.S. import and export prices both rose by more than expected in the month of October.
The Labor Department said import prices climbed by 0.5 percent in October after rising by a downwardly revised 0.2 in September.
Economists had expected import prices to inch up by 0.1 percent compared to the 0.5 percent increase originally reported for the previous month.
Meanwhile, the report said export prices rose by 0.4 percent in October after coming in unchanged in September. Export prices had also been expected to tick up by 0.1 percent.
Business inventories in the U.S. increased in line with economist estimates in the month of September, according to a report released by the Commerce Department on Thursday. The Commerce Department said business inventories rose by 0.3 percent in September after climbing by 0.5 percent in August. Economists had expected inventories to rise by 0.3 percent.
In commodities, crude oil futures for December delivery are up 0.60 or 1.07 percent at $56.85 a barrel.
Natural gas for December is down 0.57 or 11.78 percent at $4.267 per million btu.
Gold futures for December are up 3.60 or 0.30 percent at $1,213.70 an ounce.
Silver for December is up 0.07 or 0.50 percent at $14.15 an ounce.
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