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Canadian Stocks Are Slipping Further In Thin Trade - Canadian Commentary

( - The Canadian stock market is under pressure in early trade Monday, adding to its recent losses. The drop in crude oil prices is weighing on energy stocks in early trade, while gold prices are climbing on the precious metal's safe haven status.

Markets in Europe are trading modestly to the downside Monday. Trading activity remains thin, with markets in Germany and Italy closed for Christmas Eve.

Markets on Wall Street are sinking Monday morning, extending their recent losing streak to 4 days. The partial government shutdown took effect at midnight last Friday and is likely to continue until after Christmas, as President Donald Trump and Democratic lawmakers remain "far apart" on the issue of funding for the president's controversial border wall.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index is down 74.64 points or 0.54 percent at 13,860.80.

On Friday, the index closed down by 206.33 points or 1.46 percent, at 13,935.44. The index scaled an intraday high of 14,220.89 and a low of 13,924.38.

The Energy Index is falling 1.92 percent. Cenovus Energy (CVE.TO) is decreasing 1.89 percent and Encana (ECA.TO) is weakening 1.51 percent. Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) is lower by 2.98 percent and Enbridge (ENB.TO) is declining 3.58 percent. Suncor Energy (SU.TO) is losing 0.41 percent and Imperial Oil (IMO.TO) is surrendering 1.79 percent. Crescent Point Energy (CPG.TO) is forfeiting 2.84 percent.

The Capped Industrials Index is down 1.56 percent. Canadian Pacific Railway (CP.TO) is lower by 1.44 percent and Canadian National Railway (CNR.TO) is declining 0.96 percent. WestJet Airlines (WJA.TO) is weakening 1.72 percent and Air Canada (AC.TO) is surrendering 2 percent. Bombardier (BBD-B.TO) is losing 2.09 percent and Finning International (FTT.TO) is slipping 1.70 percent.

The Capped Telecommunication Services Index is down 0.91 percent. TELUS (T.TO) is losing 0.71 percent and BCE (BCE.TO) is declining 1.25 percent. Rogers Communications (RCI-B.TO) is dipping 0.54 percent.

The heavyweight Financial Index is decreasing 0.33 percent. National Bank of Canada (NA.TO) is falling 0.67 percent and Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) is losing 0.24 percent. Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) is weakening 0.67 percent and Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) is down 0.27 percent. Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO) is declining 0.34 percent and Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) is lower by 0.45 percent.

The Gold Index is increasing 2.81 percent. Eldorado Gold (ELD.TO) is climbing 5.13 percent and IAMGOLD (IMG.TO) is advancing 2.44 percent. Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) is higher by 2.97 percent and Goldcorp (G.TO) is gaining 4.06 percent. Kinross Gold (K.TO) is up 3.08 percent and B2Gold (BTO.TO) is adding 2.67 percent. Yamana Gold (YRI.TO) is rising 1.57 percent.

The Capped Materials Index is up 1.64 percent. Agnico Eagle Mines (AEM.TO) is climbing 3.99 percent and Franco-Nevada (FNV.TO) is gaining 1.91 percent. Nutrien (NTR.TO) is climbing 0.21 percent.

Ensign Energy Services Inc. (ESI.TO) and Trinidad Drilling Ltd. (TDG.TO) announced that Ensign's offer to purchase all the common shares of Trinidad for $1.68 per share has expired. Following this, Trinidad will proceed with the special meeting of Trinidad shareholders scheduled for January 31, 2019 to consider, and approve, a going private Subsequent Acquisition Transaction. Shares of Ensign Energy are down 1.82 percent and Trinidad Drilling is lower by 0.60 percent.

In commodities, crude oil futures for January delivery are down 1.05 or 2.30 percent at $44.54 a barrel.

Natural gas for January is down 0.23 or 6.03 percent at $3.586 per million btu.

Gold futures for February are up 11.50 or 0.91 percent at $1,269.60 an ounce.

Silver for January is up 0.103 or 0.70 percent at $14.805 an ounce.

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