Canada’s main stock index resumed its struggle towards the breakeven point as morning became afternoon Thursday, as energy and materials stocks tracked weaker commodities, while data showed the nation shed jobs for the second straight month in February.
The TSX approached noon EDT on Thursday down 18.02 points to 18,965.08
The Canadian dollar stayed in the red 0.3 cents to 80.42 cents U.S.
Wesdome Gold Mines docked 20 cents, or 2.4%, to $8.11, and OceanaGold fell four cents, or 2%, to $2.01.
Power Corporation of Canada jumped 80 cents, or 2.4%, to $33.67, after multiple brokerages hiked the price target of the stock, and insurance firm Great-West Lifeco rose 62 cents, or 1.9%, to $33.37.
On the economic slate, Statistics Canada said new home prices rose last month at their fastest pace since February 1989. New house prices were up in 22 of the 27 census metropolitan areas surveyed during February, pushing the national index up 1.9% in February.
Moreover, a study by payroll firm ADP revealed Canada lost 100,800 jobs in February, driven by a decline in hiring in the leisure and hospitality as well as the trade and construction sectors.
The TSX Venture Exchange was negative 3.84 points to 993.70
Eight of the 12 TSX subgroups stayed in the minus range, with energy flailing 1.5%, while consumer staples were down 1.4%, and information technology lost 1.1%.
The four gainers were led by financials, up 1%, while industrials and consumer discretionary stocks each progressed 0.5%.
U.S. stocks fell on Thursday led by technology shares as a spike in bond yields fueled fears of equity valuations and caused investors to sell growth-focused high flyers.
The Dow Jones Industrials improved on Wednesday’s all-time high, by 193.57 points to greet noon Thursday at 33,208.94, supported mostly by bank shares.
The S&P lost 9.25 points to 3,964.87.
The NASDAQ Composite plunged 165.56 points, or 1.2%, to 13,355.64. as Apple, Alphabet, Microsoft and Facebook all fell at least 1%
Bank stocks outperformed as higher interest rates tend to improve their profit margins. Banks can earn more from the widening gap between the rate they borrow at in the short term and the rate they lend out at in the long term. JPMorgan jumped 2%, while Goldman
Sachs gained 1.9%. Citizen Financial popped 4% and Zions Bancorp rallied 3.6%.
Investors digested a mixed bag of economic data Thursday. Weekly initial jobless claims totaled 770,000 for the week ended March 13, worse than an estimate of 700,000, according to economist polled by Dow Jones.
Meanwhile, the Philadelphia Federal Reserve’s manufacturing index showed a reading of 51.8, well exceeding Dow Jones consensus of 22.0 and hitting the highest level for the gauge since 1973.
Prices for 10-Year Treasurys plummeted, hoisting yields to 1.73% from Wednesday’s 1.65%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.
Oil prices lost $2.78 to $61.82 U.S. a barrel.
Gold prices obtained a dollar to $1,728.10.