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Canadian Stocks Are Struggling To Find Direction - Canadian Commentary

The Canadian stock market has been fluctuating between small gains and losses since the open of trade Wednesday. Energy stocks are rising along with crude oil prices this morning, following the release of U.S. inventory data.

Meanwhile, gold stocks are heading lower in early trade after gold prices reversed early gains.

Markets in Europe are mostly higher Wednesday, but are little changed overall. Traders are in a cautious mood ahead of Thursday's policy decision from the Bank of England.

Markets on Wall Street are nearly flat in early trade Wednesday, after climbing to record highs during the previous session. Profit taking is playing a role in this morning's lackluster performance, but traders are also exercising caution ahead of a large number of U.S. economic reports in the next two days.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index is up 14.06 points or 0.09 percent at 15,157.47.

On Tuesday, the index closed up 103.11 points or 0.69 percent, at 15,143.41. The index scaled an intraday high of 15,154.18 and a low of 15,039.03.

The Energy Index is rising 1.48 percent. Crude oil prices are rising Wednesday morning after the world's energy watchdog said that global oil supplies fell in August for the first time in four months.

Interruptions from Hurricane Harvey, dwindling OPEC production and seasonal maintenance caused output to come down by 720,000 barrels a day last month from July, to 97.7 million barrels a day, the International Energy Agency said Wednesday.

Meanwhile, The American Petroleum Institute (API) reported a build of 6.181 million barrels last week.

The U.S. EIA reported this morning that U.S. crude inventories climbed by 5.9 million barrels last week.

Crescent Point Energy (CPG.TO) is climbing 3.73 percent and Enbridge (ENB.TO) is adding 0.28 percent. Encana (ECA.TO) is advancing 3.67 percent and Suncor Energy (SU.TO) is higher by 0.79 percent. Cenovus Energy (CVE.TO) is increasing 3.79 percent and Imperial Oil (IMO.TO) is gaining 0.16 percent. Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) is also higher by 1.59 percent.

The heavyweight Financial Index is increasing 0.24 percent. Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) is rising 0.20 percent and Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) is climbing 0.08 percent. Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) is up 0.37 percent and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO) is advancing 0.09 percent. National Bank of Canada (NA.TO) is gaining 0.17 percent and Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) is adding 0.70 percent.

The Capped Information Technology Index is gaining 0.29 percent. Sierra Wireless (SW.TO) is climbing 0.96 percent.

BlackBerry (BB.TO) is falling 0.97 percent after it entered into a patent license agreement with Timex Group.

The Capped Materials Index is down 1.17 percent. Agnico Eagle Mines (AEM.TO) is dropping 1.21 percent and Franco-Nevada (FNV.TO) is losing 0.19 percent.

The Gold Index is decreasing 0.94 percent. Gold prices are down slightly Wednesday morning, after reversing early gains.

Goldcorp (G.TO) is dropping 0.83 percent and B2Gold (BTO.TO) is weakening by 2.56 percent. Yamana Gold (YRI.TO) is falling 2.25 percent and Kinross Gold (K.TO) is declining 0.78 percent. IAMGOLD (IMG.TO) is losing 1.67 percent and Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) is surrendering 1.18 percent.

Eldorado Gold (ELD.TO) is surging 13.69 percent Greece is set to grant permits for Eldorado Gold's Olympias project this week, Reuters reports.

The Capped Healthcare Index is lower by 0.88 percent. Valeant Pharmaceuticals International is falling 1.36 percent and Extendicare (EXE.TO) is losing 0.75 percent. Concordia International (CXR.TO) is also down 0.62 percent.

The Capped Industrials Index is down 0.55 percent. Canadian National Railway (CNR.TO) is declining 0.83 percent and Canadian Pacific Railway (CP.TO) is lower by 1.83 percent. WestJet Airlines (WJA.TO) is decreasing 0.73 percent.

The Capped Telecommunication Services Index is down 0.17 percent. BCE (BCE.TO) is falling 0.02 percent and TELUS (T.TO) is weakening by 0.11 percent. Rogers Communications (RCI-B.TO) is losing 0.56 percent.

Shareholders in Home Capital Group (HCG.TO) overwhelmingly rejected Warren Buffett's bid to boost his stake in the beleagured mortgage lender, as investors felt the deal was too sweet for the Oracle of Omaha. The stock is now down 0.56 percent.

Canopy Growth Corp. (WEED.TO) has signed an agreement with AusCann Group Holdings Ltd. to be its exclusive supplier of medical cannabis in Australia. Shares are weakening by 0.79 percent.

On the economic front, the median total income of Canadian households rose from $63,457 in 2005 to $70,336 in 2015, a 10.8% increase, according to Statistics Canada.

Eurozone industrial production increased slightly in July after declining in June, Eurostat reported Wednesday. Industrial production grew 0.1 percent month-on-month in July, in contrast to a 0.6 percent fall in June. Monthly growth matched economists' expectations.

Eurozone employment grew at a slightly slower pace in the second quarter, Eurostat reported Wednesday. Employment increased 0.4 percent sequentially in the second quarter, following a 0.5 percent rise in the first quarter.

Germany's inflation accelerated to a four-month high in August on energy prices, final data from Destatis showed Wednesday.

Consumer price inflation rose to 1.8 percent in August from 1.7 percent in July. The rate came in line with the preliminary estimate released on August 30. This was the highest since April, when the rate was 2 percent.

Germany's wholesale prices increased at the sharpest pace in four months in August, figures from Destatis showed Wednesday. Wholesale prices grew 3.2 percent year-over-year in August, faster than the 2.2 percent climb in July.

The UK jobless rate dropped unexpectedly in three months to July, data from the Office for National Statistics showed Wednesday. The jobless rate fell to 4.3 percent, the lowest since 1975, the ONS said. Economists had forecast the rate to remain unchanged at 4.4 percent, as seen in three months to June.

Producer prices in the U.S. rose by slightly less than expected in the month of August, according to a report released by the Labor Department on Wednesday. The Labor Department said its producer price index for final demand edged up by 0.2 percent in August after slipping by 0.1 percent in July. Economists had expected the index to climb by 0.3 percent.

In commodities, crude oil futures for October delivery are up 0.52 or 1.08 percent at $48.75 a barrel.

Natural gas for October is up 0.053 or 1.77 percent at $3.054 per million btu.

Gold futures for December are down 2.50 or 0.19 percent at $1,330.20 an ounce.

Silver for December is down 0.07 or 0.39 percent at $17.82 an ounce.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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