Energy stocks helped push Canada’s main stock index to close up on Thursday for a ninth straight day of gains. The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX Composite Index rose 0.22 per cent, to 16,143.55.
Leading the index were ATS Automation Tooling Systems, up 11.1 per cent, Spartan Energy, up 6.6 per cent, and Vermilion Energy, higher by 6 per cent.
The most heavily traded shares by volume were Aurora Cannabis, lower by 3.5 per cent, Cenovus Energy, up 2.9 per cent, and Baytex Energy, up 2.5 per cent.
Wall Street ended a choppy trading session lower, as investors grappled with escalating trade tensions and rising oil prices.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.22 per cent, to 24,713.98, the S&P 500 lost 0.09 per cent, to 2,720.13 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.21 per cent, to 7,382.47.
So-called defensive stocks were among the worst performers among the 11 major sectors of the S&P 500. Rate-sensitive telecom, real estate and utility shares were down in the face of increasing U.S. government bond yields.
Cisco Systems’ stock was the biggest drag on the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq, falling 3.8 per cent despite beating profit and revenue estimates in its postmarket earnings report. In a research note, Citigroup said investor perception is that the technology company is losing market share.
Walmart shares were down 1.9 per cent. Walmart said profit margins remained under pressure owing to price cuts and higher freight costs, weighing on its shares even as sales and earnings came in stronger than expected..
Oil prices climbed above US$80 a barrel for the first time since November, 2014, before retreating on a stronger dollar and climbing U.S. output to end unchanged.
Gold was flat after sliding to a fresh 2018 low as another rise in U.S. bond yields and concerns over political risk in Italy held the U.S. dollar index near its 2018 peak.
FOREX AND BONDS
The Canadian dollar edged lower against its U.S. counterpart, pulling back from a near one-week high as investors turned attention to domestic inflation and retail sales data due on Friday.
The U.S. dollar climbed to a four-month peak against the yen, bolstered by the rise in U.S. Treasury yields that suggests a more upbeat outlook for the world’s largest economy.
Canadian government bond prices were lower across a steeper yield curve, with the two-year down 1 cent to yield 2.064 per cent and the 10-year falling 16 cents to yield 2.520 per cent.
U.S. 10-year Treasury yields rose to a near seven-year peak, extending this week’s bond market sell-off, as traders and investors have not reached a consensus on whether it was time to buy or if the market was vulnerable to more selling.