Plus   Neg

Canadian Stocks Are Little Changed As The New Week Begins - Canadian Commentary

The Canadian stock market has been relatively flat since the open of trade Monday, but is currently trading slightly to the upside. Investors were disappointed by the protectionist tone of the G20 meeting that concluded over the weekend. Plans for the beginning of the Brexit next week also has investors in a cautious mood.

Energy stocks are struggling at the start of the new trading week, as crude oil prices have slipped back to around $48 a barrel. Meanwhile, gold stocks are among the best performing stocks this morning due to the safe haven appeal of the precious metal.

European markets dipped at the open Monday and have been locked in a narrow range throughout the session. Investors were disappointed by the outcome of the G20 summit over the weekend in Germany on trade and climate change. Also, British Prime Minister Theresa May will invoke the Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty next Wednesday, March 29, thus formally beginning the process of exiting the European Union and paving the way for talks on trade and future relations, which should conclude in two years.

Markets in the United States got off to a weak start Monday, but have since pared their early losses. Disappointment with the outcome of the G20 meeting weighed on the markets at the open, as finance ministers failed to agree on a commitment to keep global trade free and open. A lack of U.S. economic data is also keeping some investors on the sidelines.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index is up 7.29 points or 0.05 percent at 15,497.78.

On Friday, the index closed down 71.92 points or 0.46 percent, at 15,490.49. The index scaled an intraday high of 15,623.33 and a low of 15,490.49.

The Gold Index is advancing 0.67 percent. Gold prices are nearly flat Monday morning amid word the UK's Brexit will be triggered March 29.

Goldcorp (G.TO) is rising 0.29 percent and Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) is gaining 0.64 percent. IAMGOLD (IMG.TO) is climbing 1.75 percent and Yamana Gold (YRI.TO) is increasing 0.54 percent. B2Gold (BTO.TO) is higher by 1.38 percent and Kinross Gold (K.TO) is adding 1.33 percent.

The Capped Materials Index is also up 0.81 percent. Franco-Nevada (FNV.TO) is rising 0.53 percent and Agnico Eagle Mines (AEM.TO) is climbing 0.92 percent. Silver Wheaton (SLW.TO) is gaining 0.72 percent and Agrium (AGU.TO) is adding 0.08 percent. Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan (POT.TO) is higher by 0.52 percent.

The Capped Industrials Index is up 0.26 percent. Canadian National Railway (CNR.TO) is gaining 0.12 percent and Canadian Pacific Railway (CP.TO) is adding 0.02 percent. Finning International (FTT.TO) is also rising 0.12 percent and Air Canada (AC.TO) is increasing 1.18 percent.

The Capped Information Technology Index is gaining 0.23 percent. Descartes Systems Group (DSG.TO) is climbing 0.16 percent and Sierra Wireless (SW.TO) is rising 0.81 percent.

The Capped Telecommunication Services Index is up 0.37 percent. BCE (BCE.TO) is rising 0.19 percent and TELUS (T.TO) is climbing 0.21 percent. Rogers Communication (RCI-B.TO) is gaining 0.67 percent.

The Energy Index is falling 0.57 percent. Crude oil prices have slipped back to around $48 a barrel Monday morning.

Crescent Point Energy (CPG.TO) is declining 1.47 percent and Suncor Energy (SU.TO) is losing 0.15 percent. Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) is falling 1.19 percent and Imperial Oil (IMO.TO) is slipping 0.27 percent. Enbridge (ENB.TO) is weakening by 0.29 percent.

The heavyweight Financial Index is decreasing 0.08 percent. Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) is down 0.08 percent and Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) is dropping 0.24 percent. Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) is declining 0.58 percent and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO) is falling 0.31 percent.

The Capped Healthcare Index is lower by 0.04 percent. Valeant Pharmaceuticals International (VRX.TO) is down 1.46 percent and Concordia International (CXR.TO) is falling 3.56 percent.

Cargojet (CJT.TO) is rising 0.34 percent. The company has declared a dividend of $0.1925 per share.

On the economic front, Canada's wholesale sales rose 3.3% to a record high $59.1 billion in January. This was the largest monthly percentage gain since November 2009, when wholesale sales rose 3.8%. Economists had been expecting an increase of just 0.5 percent.

The Eurozone job vacancy rate increased in the fourth quarter, Eurostat reported Monday. The job vacancy rate rose marginally to 1.7 percent in the fourth quarter from 1.6 percent a quarter ago.

Eurozone hourly labor cost grew at a faster pace in the fourth quarter, figures from Eurostat showed Monday. Hourly labor cost increased 1.6 percent year-on-year in the fourth quarter, faster than the 1.4 percent rise a quarter ago.

Germany's producer prices increased at the fastest pace in more than five years in February, figures from Destatis showed Monday.

Producer prices advanced 3.1 percent in February from prior year, the fastest since December 2011, when prices gained 3.5 percent. Prices had climbed 2.4 percent in January.

Nonetheless, the annual rate was slightly slower than the 3.2 percent rise economists had forecast.

The average asking prices for a house in the United Kingdom increased further in March, the latest survey from property tracking website Rightmove showed on Monday. House prices in England and Wales climbed 1.3 percent month-over-month in March, following a 2.0 percent rise in February.

In commodities, crude oil futures for April delivery are down 0.50 or 1.03 percent at $48.28 a barrel.

Natural gas for April is up 0.053 or 1.80 percent at $3.001 per million btu.

Gold futures for April are up $1.80 or 0.15 percent at $1,232.00 an ounce.

Silver for May is down $0.018 or 0.10 percent at $17.395 an ounce.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

For comments and feedback: editorial@rttnews.com

Market Analysis

Follow RTT