Canadian stocks were hovering just above the unchanged line Wednesday morning as traders preferred to stay on the sidelines amid lack of cues from south of the border, where the U.S. markets remained closed for Independence Day holiday. Meanwhile, cues from the global equity markets came in mixed, with most Asian markets settling higher overnight and European shares lingering in the red.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index added 33.49 points or 0.28 percent to 11,882.24, after gaining over 500 points or nearly 5 percent in the past five straight trading sessions.
In the commodities market, the price of crude oil retreated from its one-month high on profit taking, with crude for August losing $0.75 to $86.91 a barrel.
Oil and gas industry services provider Gibson Energy Inc. (GEI.TO) moved up 2 percent after it said it is not in a position to sanction the expansion plans for the Moose Jaw Facility due to uncertainty around capital cost estimates and continued pressure on the construction industry in western Canada.
Meanwhile, Trican Well Services (TCW.TO) dived nearly 10 percent after the company warned that it expects second quarter loss in the range of $0.32 to $0.42 per share, wider than consensus estimates.
Fertilizer makers, Potash Corp. (POT.TO) and Agrium Inc. (AGU.TO) gathered just over 1 percent each.
Among financials, Royal Bank (RY.TO) and Scotiabank (BNS.TO) moved up around 1 percent each.
The price of gold was moving lower, with gold for August delivery shedding $7.60 to $1,614.20 an ounce.
In the gold space, Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) and Detour Gold (DGC.TO) shed around 2 percent each.
On the other hand, Avion Gold (AVR.TO) gained over 10 percent after revising its production target upwardly between 95,000 and 102,000 ounces of gold for 2012, compared to its earlier forecast of 90,000 to 100,000 ounces of gold.
Silver miner First Majestic Silver (FR.TO) edged up 1 percent after it said it has completed the acquisition of Silvermex Resources Inc. (SLX.TO) in exchange of 0.0355 shares and C$0.0001 for each share of Silvermex.
In economic news, the latest figures from Eurostat showed that retail sales in the euro zone increased unexpectedly in May, partly reversing previous month's decline. Retail sales rose 0.6 percent month-on-month in May. Economists expected no change in the retail trade volume during the month
Contraction in German private sector activity in June deepened more than estimated earlier, detailed results of a survey by Markit Economics revealed. The composite output index, that measures the performance of both manufacturing and service sectors, fell to 48.1 in June from 49.3 in May.
Meanwhile, the British service sector expanded at the slowest pace in eight months in June, and the rate of growth missed economists' expectations, data from a survey by Markit Economics and the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply (CIPS) showed. The seasonally adjusted purchasing managers' index (PMI) for the service sector dropped to 51.3 in June from 53.3 in May, hitting the lowest level since last October. A PMI reading above 50 suggests expansion in the sector, while one below indicates contraction. The sector posted growth for the eighteenth consecutive month.
by RTT Staff Writer
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