The mar­kets to­day

The Prince George Citizen - - Money -

North Amer­i­can stock mar­kets ended the week lower on mixed sec­ond-quar­ter cor­po­rate re­sults and wan­ing ex­pec­ta­tions of ag­gres­sive in­ter­est rates cuts later this month. “I think ev­ery­body’s just fo­cused on the earn­ings sea­son and try­ing to as­sess all the Fed com­men­tary in the last few weeks,” said Patrick Blais, se­nior port­fo­lio man­ager at Man­ulife As­set Man­age­ment.

The S&P/TSX com­pos­ite in­dex closed down 8.29 points to 16,485.94, just 2.18 points lower for the week.

Eight of the 11 ma­jor sec­tors the in­dex de­creased, led by in­dus­tri­als and telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions, with BRP Inc. shares fall­ing 4.8 per cent and both na­tional rail­ways dipping. The en­ergy and ma­te­ri­als sec­tors rose on the day, with En­cana Corp. and First Quantum Min­er­als Ltd. both gain­ing strongly, as the price of crude oil in­creased due to some geopo­lit­i­cal is­sues in the Mid­dle East and miner’s shares gained de­spite a lower gold price. The Septem­ber crude con­tract was up 34 cents at US$55.76 per bar­rel and the Au­gust nat­u­ral gas con­tract was down 3.6 cents at US$2.25 per mmBTU. The Au­gust gold con­tract was down US$1.40 at US$1,426.70 an ounce and the Septem­ber cop­per con­tract was up 4.25 cents at US$2.75 a pound. Crude prices in­creased Fri­day af­ter Iran’s Revo­lu­tion­ary Guard said it seized a British oil tanker that was pass­ing through the Strait of Hor­muz. In New York, the Dow Jones in­dus­trial av­er­age was down 68.77 points at 27,154.20. The S&P 500 in­dex was down 18.50 points at 2,976.61, while the Nas­daq com­pos­ite was down 60.75 points at 8,146.49. U.S. mar­kets dropped as the New York Fed­eral Re­serve walked back com­ments from pres­i­dent John Wil­liams that were in­ter­preted as con­fir­ma­tion of large in­ter­est rate cuts. The Dow ended the day slightly lower de­spite a 4.5-per­cent gain by Boe­ing Com­pany. The jet maker said it will take a US$4.9-bil­lion charge to pay for com­pen­sa­tion for air­lines be­cause of the ground of its 737 Max.

As a re­sult of a strength­en­ing U.S. dol­lar, the loonie traded for an av­er­age of 76.51 cents US com­pared with an av­er­age of 76.52 cents US on Thurs­day. Mar­kets were fairly flat af­ter the first week of quar­terly re­sults as in­vestors wait for more di­rec­tion with the bulk of U.S. com­pa­nies re­port­ing over the next two weeks, said Blais.

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