Canadian Market Down Marginally Around Noon As Materials, Energy Stocks Tumble
(RTTNews) – The Canadian stock market retreated after opening modestly higher Friday morning, and was down marginally in negative territory by noon, dragged down by losses in materials and energy sections.
Healthcare, utilities, information technology and industrial stocks are higher even as the mood remains somewhat cautious with investors looking for some direction after recent gains. Weak employment data appears to be hurting as well.
The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index, which hit a new high at 18,058.61, was down 10.63 points or 0.06% at 18,016.94 about a quarter past noon.
Data released by Statistics Canada showed the Canadian economy shed about 63,000 jobs in December 2020, much larger than an expected drop of 27,500 jobs. In November, the economy had added 62,100 jobs. Employment dropped for the first time since April 2020.
While part-time jobs fell by about 99,000, full-time employment went up by less than expected 36,500 in December. The unemployment in December was up slightly at 8.6% compared to 8.5% in November.
Materials shares are down sharply, tracking falling bullion prices. The Capped Materials Index is down as much as 3.45%. Silvercorp Metals (SVM.TO), Silvercrest Metals (SIL.TO), MAG Silver (MAG.TO), Ssr Mining (SSRM.TO), Torex Gold Resources (TXG.TO), Yamana Gold (YRI.TO), Eldorado Gold (ELD.TO), B2Gold Corp (BTO.TO) and Kinross Gold (K.TO) are down 5 to 9%. Cascades is bucking the trend and gaining nearly 5% thanks to a rating upgrade.
The Capped Energy Index is down 1.6%. Arc Resources (ARX.TO), Cenovus Energy (CVE.TO), Crescent Point Energy (CPG.TO), Suncor Energy (SU.TO), Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) and Imperial Oil (IMO.TO) are down 1 to 3%.
Information technology stock BlackBerry (BB.TO) is rising 7.5%. Descartes Systems (DSG.TO), CGI Group (GIB.A.TO), Lightspeed Pos (LSPD.TO), Constellation Software (CSU.TO) and Shopify (SHOP.TO) are gaining 1 to 2.5%.
In the utilities section, Boralex (BLX.TO) is up more than 7%. Northland Power (NPI.TO), Innergex Renewable Energy (INE.TO) and Atco (ACO.X.TO) are up 3.7%, 2.5% and 2.3%, respectively.
Healthcare stocks Bausch Health Compaies (BHC.TO) and Cronos Group (CRON.TO) are up 3.3% and 2.3%, respectively. Aphria Inc. (APHA.TO) is gaining 1.4%.
Fairfax Financial Holdings (FFH.TO) is gaining 1.5%. National Bank of Canada (NA.TO), Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO), Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO) and Sun Life Financial (SLF.TO) are up with modest gains.
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