TORONTO – The main index on the Toronto Stock Exchange fell Wednesday, despite big gains in the energy sector as the price of oil gained ground.
The S&P/TSX composite index slipped a moderate 16.60 points to 15,126.81 in a broad-based decline that saw materials, gold and base metals rack up large losses.
Surging oil and gas stocks, up nearly 2.5 per cent, weren’t enough to lift the commodity-heavy index.
“Energy is the one bright factor I’d say and then you have these two opposing forces with the metals and materials on the decline,” said Kevin Headland, senior investment strategist at Manulife Investment.
The October crude contract climbed $1.07 to US$49.30 per barrel.
South of the border, it was the second straight day of record highs for major New York indexes despite relatively modest trading movements.
The Dow Jones industrial average was up 39.32 points to 22,158.18, while the S&P 500 index inched up 1.89 points to 2,498.37 and the Nasdaq composite index added 5.91 points to 6,460.19.
“Wall Street’s taking a bit of a breather,” said Headland, who suggested investors are probably more focused on upcoming events, including next week’s U.S. Federal Reserve meeting.
Along with the usual questions about interest rates and the Fed’s balance sheet, investors are likely wondering about the central bank’s leadership. Chair Janet Yellen’s four-year term will end in February and it’s not clear if President Donald Trump will re-appoint her or replace her.
In currency markets, the Canadian dollar was trading at an average price of 82.05 cents US, down 0.19 of a U.S. cent.
Elsewhere in commodities, the December gold contract declined $4.70 at US$1,328.00.
The October natural gas contract added six cents to US$3.06 per mmBTU an ounce while the December copper contract gave back six cents to US$2.98 a pound.
– With a file from The Associated Press.
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