Update: TSX Stages Late Day Rally to Finish Little Changed, Off 9 Points
Canada's main stock market managed to claw back to a modest decline from earlier, steeper losses. The markets globally continued to navigate stormy waters Friday, with U.S. President Trump's proposed steel and aluminum tariffs fanning worries of trade war escalation. The S&P/TSX Composite Index was off 9 points or 0.1% to close at 15,384, having trimmed losses that saw the index fall as low as 15,286 intraday. The Dow Jones also recovered to close down about 70 points.
Healthcare led decliners as heavily traded cannabis stocks took another hit. Financials and energy were also weaker, as oil prices ended the week with a 3.6% decline. Materials were stronger as gold prices jumped 1.4%.
In stock news, George Weston (WIN.TO) shares gained 0.25% after the grocery company reported weaker profits as a result of special items, including the cost of a $25 Loblaw Card program launched in compensation for the company's involvement in a bread price-fixing scheme. Aurora Cannabis (ACB.TO) was off 1.5% while Canopy Growth (WEED.TO) shed 3.5%. Corus Entertainment (CJR-B.TO) lost 2%, hitting a multi-year low, according to BNN. Heavily traded Bombardier was down a penny.
In economic news, Canada's real GDP grew 1.7% in Q4 (q/q) following a revised 1.5% gain in Q3 (was +1.7%). The separate December GDP report revealed a 0.1% increase after the unrevised 0.4% bounce in November. The BoC's Q4 GDP estimate was 2.5%, while the median projection was 2.0%, so this report was somewhat disappointing. The tame gain in December GDP came in as expected, however. The revised Q3 gain along with the softer than anticipated Q4 increase leaves a rather pronounced moderating in GDP growth during the second half of 2017 relative to the unsustainably firm growth rate in the first half, consistent with a gradual and cautious approach from the Bank of Canada to further rate increases this year. The BoC's next rate announcement is Wednesday, but no change is expected.
The Canadian dollar lost about a third of a cent to 77.57 US.
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