(RTTNews.com) - The Canadian stock market is losing ground Thursday morning. The bulk of the Canadian sectors are trading modestly to the downside. Energy stocks are struggling as the recent rise in crude prices appears to have stalled this morning.
Markets in Europe are trading in the green Thursday. Automakers are leading the gainers amid reports that the Trump administration might suspend threats to impose tariffs on cars imported from the European Union if the block lifted duties on U.S. cars.
Markets on Wall Street opened higher Thursday, but have pared their gains in early trade. Traders are in a cautious mood ahead of Friday's U.S. employment report.
The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index is down 29.96 points or 0.18 percent at 16,274.76.
On Wednesday, the index closed up by 41.56 points or 0.26 percent, at 16,263.16. The index scaled an intraday high of 16,330.69 and a low of 16,260.25.
The Capped Materials Index is down 0.52 percent. Franco-Nevada (FNV.TO) is losing 0.25 percent and Nutrien (NTR.TO) is falling 0.69 percent.
The Capped Telecommunication Services Index is down 0.51 percent. BCE (BCE.TO) is losing 0.37 percent and TELUS (T.TO) is falling 0.17 percent. Rogers Communications (RCI-B.TO) is declining 0.66 percent.
The Energy Index is falling 0.47 percent. Crude oil prices are nearly flat Thursday morning.
Crescent Point Energy (CPG.TO) is weakening by 0.41 percent and Cenovus Energy (CVE.TO) is falling 0.29 percent. Suncor Energy (SU.TO) is decreasing 0.39 percent and Encana (ECA.TO) is dropping 1.50 percent. Imperial Oil (IMO.TO) is surrendering 0.21 percent.
Enbridge Inc. (ENB.TO) is up 0.11 percent. The company has agreed to sell its Canadian natural gas gathering and processing business in the Montney, Peace River Arch, Horn River and Liard basins in British Columbia (B.C.) and Alberta to Brookfield Infrastructure (BIP, BIP_U.TO) and its institutional partners for C$4.31 billion.
The Capped Industrials Index is down 0.39 percent. Canadian Pacific Railway (CP.TO) is losing 0.78 percent and Canadian National Railway (CNR.TO) is falling 0.30 percent. WestJet Airlines (WJA.TO) is declining 1.72 and Air Canada (AC.TO) is surrendering 0.89 percent. Finning International (FTT.TO) is weakening by 0.69 percent.
The Capped Information Technology Index is losing 0.43 percent. BlackBerry (BB.TO) is falling 0.91 percent and Descartes Systems Group (DSG.TO) is down 0.17 percent.
The heavyweight Financial Index is decreasing 0.09 percent. Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) is losing 0.05 percent and Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) is lower by 0.09 percent. Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) is weakening by 0.45 percent.
The Gold Index is increasing 0.04 percent. Gold prices are inching higher Thursday morning as traders weighed some key preludes to Friday's all-important U.S. jobs report.
Goldcorp (G.TO) is higher by 0.27 percent and Eldorado Gold (ELD.TO) is adding 0.38 percent.
On the economic front, Germany's factory orders expanded for the first time in five months in May, largely on robust domestic demand. Factory orders grew 2.6 percent month-on-month in May, in contrast to a revised 1.6 percent drop in April, data from Destatis showed Thursday. Orders were expected to climb moderately by 1.1 percent.
Germany's construction sector growth remained robust in June, despite easing from the previous month, survey data from IHS Markit showed Thursday. The construction Purchasing Managers' Index dropped to 53.0 in June from 53.9 in May. However, any reading above 50 indicates expansion in the sector.
Private sector employment in the U.S. increased by less than expected in the month of June, according to a report released by payroll processor ADP on Thursday. ADP said private sector employment climbed by 177,000 jobs in June after jumping by an upwardly revised 189,000 jobs in May.
Economists had expected employment to rise by about 190,000 jobs compared to the addition of 178,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.
A day ahead of the release of the more closely watched monthly jobs report, the Labor Department released a report on Thursday showing a modest uptick in first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits in the week ended June 30th.
The report said initial jobless claims inched up to 231,000, an increase of 3,000 from the previous week's revised level of 228,000. The modest increase came as a surprise to economists, who had expected jobless claims to edge down to 225,000 from the 227,000 originally reported for the previous week.
In commodities, crude oil futures for August delivery are down 0.24 or 0.32 percent at $73.90 a barrel.
Natural gas for August is down 0.029 or 1.01 percent at $2.841 per million btu.
Gold futures for August are up 2.90 or 0.23 percent at $1,256.40 an ounce.
Silver for September is up 0.012 or 0.07 percent at $16.055 an ounce.
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