Canada's main stock index ends volatile week higher despite weak end
TORONTO -- Canada's main stock index ended the week higher despite closing lower Friday on continuing trade anxieties that also gripped U.S. markets.
The S&P/TSX composite index closed down 63.19 points at 16,341.34 on the day, but was still up nearly 70 points over the trading week shortened by the Civic holiday.
In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average lost 90.75 points at 26,287.44. The S&P 500 index was down 19.44 points at 2,918.65, while the Nasdaq composite was off by 80.02 points at 7,959.14.
All three stock markets bounced back during a mid-week rally after plunging as much as 3.5 per cent Monday on signs of an acceleration of the trade war between the U.S. and China.
The selloff was sparked by China letting its currency fall to its lowest level in a decade and deciding to stop U.S. crop purchases in response to the Trump administration declaring it a currency manipulator.
"It's been a real see-saw week for the markets," said Colin Cieszynski, chief market strategist at SIA Wealth Management. "I think what we're running into is that there's a lot of fear out there but at the same time it's not necessarily been realized."
He said people are worried about global trade falling off a cliff, yet China's trade numbers this week weren't so bad. And U.S. companies are continuing to perform reasonably well.
While the week ended up stronger than could have been foreseen, new signs of trade tensions surfaced Friday as U.S. President Donald Trump said the American government would not do business with Huawei and Trump indicated again that he's not ready to reach a trade deal with the world's second-largest economy.
"What we're still seeing overall in the markets is investors are still a little bit nervous and skittish about what's going on out there when we're looking at the trade files," Cieszynski said in an interview.
Eight of the 11 major sectors of the TSX closed the day lower, led by materials with First Quantum Minerals Ltd. losing seven per cent along with other big gold producers.
The decreases came as the December gold contract was down $1.00 at US$1,508.50 an ounce after hitting a six-year high earlier in the week. The September copper contract was down 1.85 cents at US$2.59 a pound.
Health care fell about one per cent even though CannTrust Holdings Inc. reversed an early share loss to close up more than 40 per cent despite announcing an independent outside auditor had withdrawn its endorsement of the company's 2018 financial statements.
The energy sector was the best performer on the day led by Crescent Point Energy Corp. and Encana Corp. with crude prices bouncing back from weakness earlier in the week on concerns that a slowing global economy would hurt demand.
In addition, Saudi Arabia indicated it could be advancing the initial public offering of its state-owned oil company Aramco to early next year. The move suggests the oil rich country would support prices because it wouldn't want to launch an IPO into a crashing market, said Cieszynski.
The September crude contract was up $1.96 at US$54.50 per barrel and the September natural gas contract was down 0.9 cent at US$2.12 per mmBTU.
The Canadian dollar traded at an average of 75.64 cents US, compared with Thursday's average of 75.37 cents US.
The loonie gained amid mixed data with the release of a disappointing employment report and housing starts coming in better than expected.
Index and currency in this story: (TSX:GSPTSE, TSX:CADUSD, TSX:CPG, TSX:TRST, TSX:FM, TSX:ECA.)