Stocks in Canada’s largest market straddled the breakeven line as the closing bell rang on Wednesday, as gold and health-care issues suffered while energy stocks roared forward.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index nicked lower 16.6 points to close Wednesday’s trading at 15,126.81
The Canadian dollar hesitated 0.01 cents to 82.1 cents U.S.
In the gold mines, Centerra Gold backslid 22 cents, or 2.4%, to $9.00, while Barrick Gold lost 43 cents, or 2%, to $20.82.
Materials issues took it on the chin, as Teck Resources collapsed $1.53, or 5.4%, to $26.72, while Hudbay Minerals softened 37 cents, or 3.9%, to $9.16.
Among health-care firms, Aphria Inc. dropped 12 cents, or 1.8%, to $6.27. while Canopy Growth, its rival in the medical marijuana field, tumbled 11 cents, or 1.1%, to $9.99.
Energy stocks, in contrast, sang Wednesday, as Encana Corporation vaulted 63 cents, or 5.4%, to $12.35, while Cenovus Energy charged ahead 43 cents, or 4.1%, to $10.98.
Financials did their best, and came out in positive territory, as Toronto-Dominion climbed 50 cents to $67.18, while Bank of Montreal strengthened 55 cents to $91.98.
Among consumer staples, Restaurant Brands International fought its way up 17 cents to $77.29.
The TSX Venture Exchange skidded 4.04 points to 771.16
All but three of the 12 TSX subgroups were lower by the close, as gold stocks lost 1.7% of their luster, materials crumbled 1.6%, and health-care ditched 1.1%.
The three gainers were energy, gushing 2.6%, while financials prospered 0.5%, and consumer staples poked ahead 0.2%.
U.S. stocks closed slightly higher on Wednesday, notching record highs, as a gain in the energy sector offset losses in tech.
The Dow Jones Industrials advanced 39.32 points to 22,158.18, with Chevron contributing the most to the gains. Apple, however, was the biggest loser in the index.
The S&P 500 added 1.89 points to Tuesday’s record high to finish at 2,498.37. Energy stocks received a boost from oil prices, and technology stocks were among the worst performers, however, falling 0.2% after closing at a record high on Tuesday.
The NASDAQ also set a new record, gaining 5.91 points to 6,460.19, as shares of Apple dropped 0.8%.
Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Lakeland Industries and United Natural Foods Inc. were among the companies reporting earnings Wednesday.
In economic news, the U.S. Producer Price Index — a measurement of wholesale inflation — rose 0.2% in August, below the expected 0.3% increase.
President Donald Trump, meanwhile, urged Congress to move forward with tax reform.
Tax reform hopes have been one of the main catalysts for the stock market since Trump’s election. In that period, the S&P 500’s market value has increased by more than $2 trillion.
But tax reform expectations have decreased since the election, as the administration has been bogged down by in-party fighting and a failed attempt at overhauling health care, among other factors.
Prices for the benchmark 10-year Treasury note lost a bit of ground, raising yields to 2.19% from Tuesday’s 2.17%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.
Oil prices gained $1.16 to $49.39
Gold prices wilted seven dollars to $1,325.70 U.S. an ounce.