Update: TSX Mildly Weaker, Off 20 Points, in Light, Pre-Holiday Weekend Trading; Energy Gains Help Limit Losses

Canada's main stock market was modestly weaker Friday in light trading as investors looked ahead to the last long weekend of the summer. The S&P/TSX Composite Index was off 20 points or 0.1% to close at 15,191, with no direction from economic reports or earnings. The TSX gained 78 points on Thursday as the blockbuster Q2 GDP and June GDP reports solidified expectations for a near-term rate hike. For the week, the TSX was up 0.5%.

Sector wise, energy was the only one in positive territory, rising 0.7% even as oil prices barely moved, adding six cents to settle at $47.29 a barrel. Materials and financials were slightly weaker while healthcare and consumer staples lost more than 1%.

In stock news, BRP (DOO.TO) shares fell 1.6% even as its revenue surged 20% to $1.03 billion during the three-months ended July 31, propelling it to a $100 million profit, compared with a loss of $69 million last year. However, Hurricane Harvey has shuttered several BRP dealers that were in the path of the storm and will likely affect sales for months to come, the recreational vehicle company said. Heavily traded Trevali Mining (TV.TO) gained 6% while TD Bank (TD.TO) added to Thursday's gains, rising a further 0.7% Friday. Influential stocks today included RBC (RY.RO), down 0.6% and Suncor Energy (SU.TO), up 1%.

In economic news, Canada's Markit manufacturing PMI fell to 54.6 in August from 55.5 in July. The decline puts it just below June's 54.7 mark. The index slipped to 55.1 in May from the record high 55.9 in April. U.S. job growth slowed in August as employers added a less-than-expected 156k jobs. But even that weaker pace suggests that businesses remain confident in the economy. The U.S. unemployment rate ticked up to 4.4%. Next week's Canadian calendar features the latest jobs update, as well as reports on labour productivity and building permits.

The Canadian dollar hit an intraday two-year high before adding nearly seven-tenths of a cent to 80.75 US as forex traders anticipate an interest rate hike by the Bank of Canada, perhaps as soon as next Wednesday, though most analysts expect the central bank to hold fire until the October meeting.

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

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