(RTTNews) - Canadian stocks exhibited weakness after opening on a negative note Tuesday morning, tracking lower crude oil prices and on worries about U.S.-China trade talks and political uncertainty in the U.K.
While energy shares declined on falling crude oil prices, shares from the materials space gained in strength after gold prices climbed higher on safe-haven appeal.
Shares from financial and industrial sections were mostly lower. Information technology and healthcare stocks were turning in a mixed performance.
At little past noon, the benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index was down 70 points, or 0.43%, at 16,371.92, after declining to a low of 16,355.81.
On Friday, the index ended up 57.58 points, or 0.35%, at 16,442.07, extending gains to a fifth straight session. The market was closed on Monday for Labor Day holiday.
The Capped Energy Index shed about 2.2%. Among the prominent losers, Baytex Energy (BTE.TO) declined 4.7%, Vermilion Energy (VET.TO) eased 3.1%, Suncor Energy (SU.TO) declined 2.75%, Tourmaline Oil Corp (TOU.TO), Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO), Encana Corp (ECA.TO) and Cenovus Energy (CVE.TO) were down 2.2 to 2.5%, while Enerplus Corp (ERF.TO), ARC Resources (ARX.TO) and Husky Energy (HSE.TO) were lower by about 2%.
Enbridge Inc (ENB.TO) announced that it has reached an agreement with shippers to place the Canadian portion of the Line 3 replacement pipeline into service by the end of this year. The stock was up marginally.
Among bank stocks, Laurentian Bank (LB.TO) declined 2.7%, Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) shed 1.4% and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO) was down by about 1%. Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO), Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) and National Bank of Canada (NA.TO) lost 0.6 to 0.8%.
The Capped Materials Index was up 1.25%. Kinross Gold Corp (K.TO) climbed up 6.7%, Iamgold Corp (IMG.TO) surged up 5.5%, Wheaton Precious Metals (WPM.TO) gained 4.5%, Yamaha Gold (YRI.TO) advanced 4%, Oceanagold (OGC.TO) gained nearly 3%, Kirkland Lake Gold (KL.TO) advanced 2.8% and Eldorado Gold (ELD.TO) was up 2.5%.
Agnico Eagle Mines (AEM.TO), Alacer Gold Corp (ASR.TO), B2Gold Corp (BTO.TO), Detour Gold Corp (DGC.TO) and Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO) were also up sharply.
Among cannabis shares, Green Organic Dutchman Holdings (TGOD.TO) gained nearly 2% after the company announced that it has obtained approval from Health Canada to expand operations into its new hybrid greenhouse located in Hamilton, Ontario. The 123,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility will serve to increase TGOD's premium organic cannabis production as it expands its sales in Canada.
On the economic front, Canadian manufacturing activity dropped to a three-month low in August. The IHS Markit Canada Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' index fell to a seasonally adjusted 49.1 in the month, from a reading of 50.2 in July.
In commodities, crude oil futures for October were down $1.40, or 2.58%, at $53.70 a barrel.
Gold futures were rising $28.40, or 1.86%, at $1,557.80 an ounce.
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