(RTTNews.com) - The Canadian stock market is down in early trade Thursday, but has come off its early low. Commodity prices are rather sluggish this morning. The weak performance of the gold stocks is weighing on the overall market.
The majority of the European markets are trading modestly to the upside Thursday. Traders were encouraged by some positive economic data out of Germany and France, but remain cautious due to the trade tensions between the U.S. and China.
Markets on Wall Street struggled in early trade Thursday, but have since inched into positive territory. Traders appear reluctant to make significant moves amid renewed concerns after the U.S. imposed tariffs on $16 billion worth of Chinese goods, leading to a tit-for-tat retaliation by the Asian nation.
The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index is down 14.34 points or 0.09 percent at 16,333.00.
On Wednesday, the index closed up by 65.52 points or 0.40 percent, at 16,362.49. The index scaled an intraday high of 16,397.08 and a low of 16,322.78.
The Gold Index is decreasing 1.18 percent. IAMGOLD (IMG.TO) is losing 3.18 percent and Yamana Gold (YRI.TO) is surrendering 1.94 percent. Goldcorp (G.TO) is weakening by 1.72 percent and Kinross Gold (K.TO) is falling 0.53 percent. Eldorado Gold (ELD.TO) is down 0.78 percent and Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) is declining 0.52 percent. B2Gold (BTO.TO) is lower by 2.33 percent.
The Capped Materials Index is down 0.95 percent. Agnico Eagle Mines (AEM.TO) is falling 1.56 percent and Franco-Nevada (FNV.TO) is losing 1.38 percent. Nutrien (NTR.TO) is lower by 0.13 percent.
The Energy Index is falling 0.20 percent. Crescent Point Energy (CPG.TO) is advancing 0.18 percent and Imperial Oil (IMO.TO) is climbing 0.53 percent. Enbridge (ENB.TO) is adding 0.40 percent.
The Capped Information Technology Index is gaining 0.70 percent. Descartes Systems Group (DSG.TO) is rising 0.21 percent and Sierra Wireless (SW.TO) is up 1.07 percent. Constellation Software (CSU.TO) is climbing 0.54 percent BlackBerry (BB.TO) is higher by 0.83 percent.
The heavyweight Financial Index is increasing 0.07 percent. Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) is advancing 0.28 percent and Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) is gaining 0.10 percent.
Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO) is up 0.95 percent. The company said its bottom line came in at C$1.37 billion, or C$3.01 per share in the third quarter of this financial year, as compared to C$1.10 billion, or C$2.60 per share, in last year's third quarter.
On the economic front, the euro area private sector continued to expand in August, albeit with the rate of expansion remaining one of the weakest seen over the past year-and-a-half, flash data from IHS Markit showed Thursday. The composite output index rose marginally to 54.4 in August from 54.3 in July. But the score was slightly below the forecast of 54.5.
Germany's private sector activity grew at the fastest pace in six months in August, flash data from IHS Markit showed Thursday. The composite output index improved to 55.7 in August from 55.0 in July. This was the highest reading since February and above the forecast of 55.1.
France's private sector growth accelerated to a four-month high in August, thanks to stronger expansions in both the services and manufacturing sectors, flash data from IHS Markit showed Thursday. The composite output index rose to 55.1 in August from 54.4 in July. Moreover, the index remained above the neutral 50.0 mark for a twenty-sixth month in a row and the expected level of 54.6.
France's manufacturing confidence improved marginally in August after falling in the previous month, survey data from the statistical office Insee showed Thursday. The manufacturing confidence index rose to 110 in August from 109 in July, which was revised up from 108. Economists had expected the index to remain stable at 108.0.
A report released by the Labor Department on Thursday showed a modest decrease in first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits in the week ended August 18th. The report said initial jobless claims edged down to 210,000, a decrease of 2,000 from the previous week's unrevised level of 212,000. Economists had expected jobless claims to inch up to 215,000.
New home sales in the U.S. unexpectedly decreased in the month of July, according to a report released by the Commerce Department on Thursday.
The report said new home sales dropped by 1.7 percent to an annual rate of 627,000 in July after tumbling by 2.4 percent to a revised rate of 638,000 in June. Economists had expected new home sales to climb by 2.2 percent.
In commodities, crude oil futures for September delivery are down 0.18 or 0.27 percent at $67.68 a barrel.
Natural gas for September is down 0.012 or 0.41 percent at $2.944 per million btu.
Gold futures for December are down 6.60 or 0.55 percent at $1,196.70 an ounce.
Silver for September is down 0.145 or 0.98 percent at $14.605 an ounce.
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