(RTTNews.com) - Canadian shares swung between gains and losses almost right through the session on Wednesday, with investors reacting to a slew of earnings reports and the latest batch of economic data.
Mixed global cues, uncertainty about Brexit and skepticism about China and the U.S. agreeing on a deal anytime soon were among the reasons for the sluggish movements in the market.
The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index ended up 9.62 points, or 0.06%, at 15,712.31. The index scaled a low of 15,668.58 and a high of 15,745.38 in the session.
Consumer discretionary and financial stocks found support. Cannabis stocks drifted lower. Shares from energy, materials, consumer staples, technology and industrial sections were mostly sluggish.
The Consumer Discretionary Index ended 0.91% up. Restaurant Brands International Inc. (QSR.TO), Dollarama Inc. (DOL.TO), Gildan Activewear Inc. (GIL.TO), Canada Goose Holdings Inc. (GOOS.TO), Great Canadian Gaming Corporation (GC.TO) and Linamar Corporation (LNR.TO) gained 1 to 2.5%.
Among bank stocks, Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) gained about 0.35%, while others ended around previous closing levels.
Among the stocks in the healthcare space, Canopy Growth Corporation (WEED.TO) declined 3.7%, Aurora Cannabis (ACB.TO) eased by 3.4%, Cronos Group (CRON.TO) plunged 9.7%, Hexo Corp (HEXO.TO) ended 5.2% down and Green Organic Dutchman Holdings (TGOD.TO) tumbled 7.6%.
Aphria (APHA.TO) ended 9% down. Aphria said it has rejected a hostile takeover bid from Green Growth Brands Inc., saying it undervalues the company.
Aphria said that Green Growth's offer, made last month, represents a 23% discount to Aphria's share price, based on the 20-day volume-weighted average price of Green Growth stock immediately before its bid was announced.
Energy stock Suncor Energy (SU.TO) gained 0.6%. The company reported fourth quarter net loss of $280 million, or $0.18 per common share, as compared to net earnings of $1.382 billion or $0.84 per common share in the prior year quarter.
Cenovus Energy (CVE.TO) gained 1.3% and MEG Energy Corp. (MEG.TO) advanced nearly 3%. Baytex Energy Corp. (BTE.TO) declined 3.7%, Crescent Point Energy (CPG.TO) ended 1.6% down and Encana Corporation (ECA.TO) settled marginally lower.
Kinross Gold Corporation (K.TO), Yamana Gold (YRI.TO) and B2Gold Corp (BTO.TO) ended notably lower. Lundin Mining Corporation (LUN.TO) gained 1.5%.
Bombardier Inc. (BBD.B.TO) jumped 6.2%. Bombardier Commercial Aircraft announced today that a subsidiary of Chorus Aviation Inc. has finalized a firm purchase agreement for nine CRJ900 aircraft. The order is valued at approximately US $437 million.
Bombardier Commercial Aircraft also announced the launch of the new CRJ550 aircraft, the first triple-class 50-seat aircraft in the world.
ATS Automation Tooling Systems Inc. (ATA.TO) shares soared 17.3% after the company reported adjusted earnings from operations of $46.7 million for the third quarter of fiscal 2019, compared to $29.3 million a year ago.
On the economic front, a report from Statistics Canada said Canadian municipalities issued $8.8 billion worth of building permits in December. That was up 6% from a month earlier and the fourth consecutive monthly increase.
Western University's IVEY School of Business said its Purchasing Managers Index for January measured 54.7, down sharply from the 59.7 issued in December, and off from the 55.2 in January 2018.
The U.S. market ended slightly lower after a lackluster session. The Dow edged down by 0.1% and the S&P 500 shed 0.2%, while the Nasdaq declined 0.4%.
Major European markets ended on a weak note, with investors reacting to a mixed batch of earnings reports and data showing a drop in Germany's factory orders.
Asian markets ended higher, although buying interest was somewhat subdued in most of the markets in the region.
In commodities, West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for March ended up $0.35, or 0.7%, at $54.01 a barrel, rallying from a low of $52.88.
Gold futures for April ended down $4.80, or 0.4%, at $1,314.40 an ounce.
Silver futures for March ended down $0.135, at $15.701 an ounce, while Copper futures for March settled with a gain of $0.0195, at $2.8365 per pound.
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