Fall­ing en­ergy prices drag down the TSX

Times Colonist - - Business - DAVID HODGES

TORONTO — 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 15742.20, with the en­ergy sec­tor lead­ing de­clin­ers with losses of 1.65 per cent.

The Novem­ber crude con­tract was down 70 cents to $50.60 US per bar­rel.

“Any time oil crosses over the $50 US mark, you know that there are pro­duc­ers out there that are hedg­ing,” said Jil­lian Bryan, vice-pres­i­dent at TD Wealth Pri­vate In­vest­ment Ad­vice. “That has the ef­fect of putting a lid on en­ergy prices so they don’t run even fur­ther.”

The U.S. En­ergy In­for­ma­tion Ad­min­is­tra­tion re­ported last week that U.S. crude ex­ports had 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 22841.01. The S&P 500 in­dex inched down 4.31 points to 2550.93 and the Nas­daq com­pos­ite in­dex dropped 12.04 points to 6591.51.

“We had JPMor­gan Chase and Cit­i­group kick­ing off earn­ing sea­son and, ba­si­cally, their per­for­mance was some­what muted, so that’s the rea­son U.S. mar­kets are down a lit­tle bit to­day,” said Bryan.

While JPMor­gan Chase and Cit­i­group both did bet­ter than an­a­lysts ex­pected, their stocks lost ground. Cit­i­group fell $2.31, or 3.1 per cent, to $72.63 US and JPMor­gan Chase gave up 96 cents, or 1.0 per cent, to $95.88 US. Other banks also slipped.

U.S. bank stocks have made big gains over the last month, with com­pa­nies re­port­ing good re­sults from their con­sumer bank­ing busi­nesses, but other di­vi­sions didn’t do as well.

In cur­rency mar­kets, the Cana­dian dol­lar was trad­ing at an av­er­age price of 80.18 cents US, up 0.17 of a cent.

Else­where in com­modi­ties, the De­cem­ber gold con­tract ad­vanced $7.60 to $1,296.50 US an ounce.

The Novem­ber nat­u­ral gas con­tract was up 10 cents at $2.99 US per mmBTU, and the De­cem­ber cop­per con­tract gained two cents at $3.12 US a pound.

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