The markets today
TORONTO (CP) — Weakness in oil and gas shares weighed on Canada’s largest stock index Thursday as the loonie made a minor advance on the U.S. dollar. The Toronto Stock Exchanges’s S&P/TSX composite index retreated 58.20 points to 15,742.20, with the energy sector leading decliners with losses of 1.65 per cent. The November crude contract was down 70 cents to US$50.60 per barrel. “Any time oil crosses over the US$50 mark, you know that there are producers out there that are hedging,” said Jillian Bryan, vicepresident at TD Wealth Private Investment Advice. “That has the effect of putting a lid on energy prices so they don’t run even further. And we’ve obviously had huge production gains south of the border with their production at all time highs in the U.S. So the world is awash in energy.” The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported last week that U.S. crude exports jumped to 1.98 million barrels per day, marking the fourth weekly increase. South of the border, stocks were little changed Thursday as weakening bank shares saw Wall Street slip into negative territory. The Dow Jones industrial average gave back 31.88 points to 22,841.01. The S&P 500 index inched down 4.31 points to 2,550.93 and the Nasdaq composite index dropped 12.04 points to 6,591.51. Elsewhere in commodities, the December gold contract advanced $7.60 to US$1,296.50 an ounce.