Canada’s main stock index fell on Wednesday, dragged by energy stocks, as oil prices fell after a surprise build-up in U.S. crude stockpiles stoked concerns of a supply glut and a spike in global COVID-19 cases fuelled demand worries.
The TSX squirted up but 0.85 points during noon hour to 16,274.11.
The Canadian dollar settled 0.04 cents to 76.16 cents U.S.
Canadian National Railway fell $5.84, or 4%, the most on the TSX, to $141.11, after the railroad operator posted third-quarter profit below analysts’ expectations.
The second-biggest decliner was Imperial Oil, down 30 cents, or 1.8%, to $16.67.
Aurora Cannabis proved one of the index’s biggest gainers, tallying 24 cents, or 4%, to $6.18, while another was Canopy Growth, jumping $1.08, or 4.4%, to $25.85.
On the economic calendar, Statistics Canada reported the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 0.5% on a year-over-year basis in September, up from a 0.1% increase in August.
On a seasonally-adjusted monthly basis, the CPI rose 0.1% in September, matching the increase in August.
The agency also reported that retail sales rose 0.4% to $53.2 billion in August—the fourth consecutive monthly increase since the record decline in April, led by higher sales at building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers and food and beverage stores.
StatsCan also said prices of new homes surged across the nation by 1.2% in September following a 0.5% increase in August.
The TSX Venture Exchange cleared breakeven by 0.13 points to 712.79.
Eight of the 12 TSX subgroups gained ground, led by health-care, picking up 2.2%, materials, stronger by 1.9%, and gold, ahead 1.8%.
The four laggards were weighed most by energy, skidding 1.6%, industrials, falling 1.1%, and information technology, clicking 0.7% lower.
Stocks alternated between gains and losses on Wednesday as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin continue their negotiations on a new fiscal stimulus package.
The Dow Jones Industrials reversed direction and lost 57.79 points to stop for lunch hour Wednesday at 28,251.
The S&P 500 faded 2.83 points to 3,440.23.
The NASDAQ slid 16.26 points to 11,500.23.
Snap shares led the way higher for tech, surging more than 30% on stronger-than-expected results for the previous quarter. Facebook rose 5.1%, and Google-parent Alphabet picked up 3% to follow Snap higher.
A slew of companies reported quarterly earnings after the bell on Tuesday, most notably Netflix. Shares of the streaming giant slipped 6.4% after the company missed earnings estimates, and reported fewer-than-expected subscriber additions.
White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said Pelosi and Mnuchin have made “good progress” on stimulus talks. He added, however, that they “still have a ways to go” before an agreement is reached.
Following Pelosi and Mnuchin’s meeting on Tuesday, Meadows told reporters the two will talk again on Wednesday, and that he hopes to see “some kind of agreement before the weekend.”
Prices for the 10-Year Treasury retreated, lifting yields to 0.81% from Tuesday’s 0.79%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.
Oil prices slumped $1.42 at $40.28 U.S. a barrel.
Gold prices climbed $15.50 to $1,930.90