(RTTNews.com) - The Canadian stock market has been fluctuating between small gains and losses since the open of Thursday's session. Gold and energy stocks are turning in a solid performance this morning, but many of the other Canadian sectors are trading in the red.
The majority of the European markets have slipped into negative territory. Trade was directionless earlier in the session, but has turned lower after the weak open on Wall Street.
Markets on Wall Street got off to a weak start Thursday, following yesterday's lackluster performance. Traders are reacting to the latest batch of corporate earnings and some mixed U.S. economic data.
The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index is up 5.68 points or 0.04 percent at 15,535.65.
On Wednesday, the index closed up 176.67 points or 1.15 percent, at 15,529.97. The index scaled an intraday high of 15,576.72 and a low of 15,422.90.
The Energy Index is rising 1.34 percent. Crude oil has surged to its highest in almost 4 years, approaching $70 a barrel ahead of a crucial meeting between OPEC and Russia.
Crescent Point Energy (CPG.TO) is rising 3.53 percent and Suncor Energy (SU.TO) is up 0.35 percent. Husky Energy (HSE.TO) is gaining 0.71 percent and Encana (ECA.TO) is adding 1.37 percent. Cenovus Energy (CVE.TO) is advancing 2.08 percent and Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) is gaining 1.97 percent. Imperial Oil (IMO.TO) is higher by 0.11 percent.
The Gold Index is increasing 0.66 percent. Gold prices are lower Thursday, trimming gains from earlier in the week.
Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) is advancing 0.48 percent and IAMGOLD (IMG.TO) is increasing 0.71 percent and Yamana Gold (YRI.TO) is up 1.20 percent. Eldorado Gold (ELD.TO) is gaining 0.81 percent and Goldcorp (G.TO) is adding 0.33 percent.
The Capped Healthcare Index is lower by 0.67 percent. Valeant Pharmaceuticals International (VRX.TO) is weakening by 1.27 percent and Concordia International (CXR.TO) is falling 4.62 percent. Extendicare (EXE.TO) is losing 0.46 percent.
The Capped Telecommunication Services Index is down 0.41 percent. TELUS (T.TO) is losing 0.87 percent and BCE (BCE.TO) is lower by 0.46 percent.
The Capped Information Technology Index is losing 0.53 percent. Sierra Wireless (SW.TO) is falling 0.82 percent and BlackBerry (BB.TO) is declining 1.03 percent. Constellation Software (CSU.TO) is weakening by 0.69 percent.
The heavyweight Financial Index is decreasing 0.18 percent. Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) is losing 0.09 percent and Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) is declining 0.16 percent. National Bank of Canada (NA.TO) is down 0.20 percent and Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) is surrendering 0.37 percent. Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) is falling 0.47 percent and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO) down 0.15 percent.
On the economic front, UK retail sales declined more-than-expected in March on unusually cold and adverse weather, official data revealed Thursday. Retail sales including auto fuel, dropped 1.2 percent month-on-month in March, in contrast to a 0.8 percent rise in February, the Office for National Statistics reported. Sales were forecast to fall 0.6 percent.
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 April 14th. The report said initial jobless claims edged down to 232,000, a decrease of 1,000 from the previous week's unrevised level of 233,000. Economists had expected jobless claims to dip to 230,000.
Philadelphia-area manufacturing activity unexpectedly saw a modestly faster rate of growth in the month of April, 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 inched up to 23.2 in April from 22.3 in March, with a positive reading indicating growth in regional manufacturing activity. Economists had expected the index to dip to 20.1.
In commodities, crude oil futures for May delivery are up 0.35 or 0.51 percent at $68.82 a barrel.
Natural gas for May is down 0.057 or 2.08 percent at $2.682 per million btu.
Gold futures for June are down 3.00 or 0.22 percent at $1,350.50 an ounce.
Silver for May is up 0.067 or 0.39 percent at $17.315 an ounce.
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