Canadian Shares Swinging Back And Forth As Investors Look For Direction

(RTTNews) - The Canadian stock market rebounded after a negative start Thursday morning, but faltered and gave up gains subsequently, amid cautious moves by investors.

Optimism about the ongoing trade talks between U.S. and Chinese officials is aiding sentiment, while lingering worries about global growth and continued uncertainty about Brexit prevent investors from making significant moves.

Healthcare and materials shares are exhibiting weakness. Industrials, consumer discretionary and information technology shares are finding support, while energy, financial and consumer staples shares are turning in a mixed performance.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index is down 21.30 points, or 0.13%, at 16,111.23. Earlier, after opening at 18,094.05, the index advanced to a high of 16,165.37.

On Wednesday, the index ended down 22.63 points, or 0.14%, at 16,132.53.

CannTrust Holdings Inc. (TRST.TO) shares are plunging 17% on disappointing results. The company reported net loss of $25.52 million for the quarter ended December 2018, compared to net profit of $6.25 million in the year-ago quarter. Total revenue for the fourth quarter was up 132% at $16.2 million, over the same quarter of the previous year.

Aurora Cannabis (ACB.TO), Aphria (APHA.TO) and Cronos Group (CRON.TO) are down in negative territory, while Green Organic Dutchman Holdings (TGOD.TO) and Hexo Corp. (HEXO.TO) are up 1.3% and 0.7%, respectively.

Village Farms International Inc. (VFF.TO) is up 5.55% on strong volumes.

Shares of Valener Inc. (VNR.TO) are rising nearly 11% after the company said on Wednesday that it has entered into a definitive agreement with Noverco Inc, as per which the Noverco will acquire all the issued and outstanding common shares of Valener.

Barrick Gold Corporation (ABX.TO), B2Gold Corp. (BTO.TO) and Kinross Gold Corporation (K.TO) are down 2 to 2.5%.

Crescent Point Energy (CPG.TO) is declining more than 2%. Encana Corporation (ECA.TO), Cenovus Energy (CVE.TO) and Enbridge Inc. (ENB.TO) are modestly lower.

U.S. stocks are slightly higher this morning, although buying interest remains somewhat subdued amid concerns about the economic outlook.

In U.S. economic news, data from the Commerce Department said GDP climbed by 2.2% in the fourth quarter compared to the previously reported 2.6% increase. Economists had expected the pace of growth to be downwardly revised to 2.4%.

With the downward revision, the pace of GDP growth in the fourth quarter is notably slower than the 3.4% jump in the third quarter.

The National Association of Realtors' report said pending home sales index slumped by 1% to 101.9 in February after soaring by 4.3% to 102.9 in January. Economists had expected pending home sales to climb by 0.7%.

European stocks have turned mixed after a positive start, with Brexit uncertainty and growth concerns rendering the mood cautious.

In commodities, crude oil futures for May are down $0.54, or 0.91%, at $58.87 a barrel.

Gold futures for June are declining $19.10, or 1.45%, at $1,297.80 an ounce.

Silver futures for May are down $0.233, or 1.52%, at $15.065 an ounce, while Copper futures for May are gaining $0.0075, or 0.26%, at $2.8580 per pound.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.