Canada’s main stock index turned negative in midmorning trading on Friday as losses among financial and consumer shares outweighed gains for some gold miners and other natural resource companies from an uptick in commodity prices.
The heavyweight financials group slipped 0.3 per cent as bond yields fell, with insurance companies a particular weight. Manulife Financial Corp was down 0.9 per cent at C$24.28, and Great-West Lifeco Inc lost 0.8 per cent to C$37.43.
At midday, the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was down 16.38 points, or 0.11 per cent, at 15,546.03.
Seven of the index’s 10 main groups were in positive territory, with advancers outnumbering decliners 1.4 to 1.
The TSX is on track for a 0.3 per cent gain on the week.
The most influential gainers on the index included Suncor Energy Inc. The country’s biggest oil and gas producer edged up 0.5 per cent to C$41.18.
Two of the biggest Canadian telecom companies also supported the index, with BCE Inc advancing 1 per cent to C$58.17, and rival Rogers Communications Inc adding 1.2 per cent to C$57.25.
The energy group was flat overall, while the materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, was barely lower.
Dominion Diamond Corp jumped 9.3 per cent to C$12.86 after providing a 2018 outlook late on Thursday.
Oil prices firmed on Friday after trading in a narrow range all week, while gold also rose. Canada Goose advanced 8.2 per cent to C$23.29 the day after it jumped nearly 27 per cent from its initial public offering price of C$17 per share.
Canadian manufacturing sales unexpectedly rose in January for the third month in a row, helped by strength in non-durable goods, including petroleum and coal products, data from Statistics Canada showed on Friday.
U.S. stocks were modestly lower on Friday as the lingering effects of the Federal Reserve’s less aggressive stance on the rates outlook hurt the financial sector.
The S&P 500 financial sector was off 0.85 percent, led by losses in big banks including Wells Fargo and Bank of America.
The index has outperformed in a post-election rally on bets of simpler regulations and on heightened expectations of higher interest rates.
The rally petered out somewhat after the Fed on Wednesday stuck to its outlook for a gradual tightening in policy following an as expected quarter point rate hike.
“We got the rate increase that the market was looking for, albeit some of the future expectations were a little bit more muted then investors had been bracing for,” said Eric Wiegand, senior portfolio manager at the Private Client Reserve at U.S. Bank.
“So we’ve seen interest rates come in a little bit from earlier this week, so I think that’s one of the things that weighing on financials specifically.”
For the week, however, the S&P 500 is on track to score gains, helped by the technology sector.
The S&P tech index was supported on Friday by Adobe’s 5.6 percent rise after the Photoshop software maker reported strong earnings.
At midday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 15.64 points, or 0.07 percent, at 20,918.91 and the S&P 500 was down 2.97 points, or 0.12 percent, at 2,378.41.
The Nasdaq Composite was down 10.24 points, or 0.17 percent, at 5,890.52.
Eight of the 11 major S&P sectors marked slight gains, topped by a 0.5 percent rise in utilities.
Amgen dropped 6.7 percent to $168.02 after analysts were unimpressed by results of a study on its cholesterol drug.
Amgen was also the biggest drag on the broader S&P 500 index and the Nasdaq.
Tiffany’s shares rose 3 percent to $92.73, after the high-end jeweler’s fourth-quarter profit topped estimates.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,435 to 1,350. On the Nasdaq, 1,512 issues fell and 1,126 advanced.
The S&P 500 index showed forty five 52-week highs and three lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 93 highs and 35 lows.Report Typo/Error