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Canada’s main stock index dipped on Thursday after shares of Canadian discount store chain Dollarama Inc. plunged after posting disappointing quarterly results and weighed on the consumer discretionary sector.

Dollarama’s 17.2-per-cent drop was the biggest drag on the TSX and pushed the consumer discretionary index down 1.9 per cent.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was down 47.31 points, or 0.29 per cent, at 16,001.71.

Also weighing on the index was the energy sector’s 0.3-per-cent drop as oil prices slipped.

Among the biggest decliners included marijuana producers with Aphria Inc. down 16.9 per cent, Aurora Cannabis Inc. falling 8.9 per cent and Canopy Growth Corp. losing 13.6 per cent.

Empire Company Ltd. was down 3.2 per cent after posting its quarterly results, and DHX Media Ltd. dropped 33.1 per cent to an record low on a weak outlook.

The largest percentage gainers on the TSX included Methanex Corp, which jumped 2.5 per cent, followed by New Gold Inc, which rose 1.6 per cent.

The Canadian dollar firmed to a two-week high against its U.S. counterpart on Thursday as tamer-than-expected U.S. inflation data weighed on the greenback, offsetting a pullback in crude oil prices.

The greenback fell to a near 1-1/2-month low against a basket of currencies after data showed U.S. consumer prices increased less than expected in August, paring traders’ outlook that domestic inflation is accelerating.

“That weaker number certainly helped to give the euro, sterling and the loonie a lift,” said Dean Popplewell, vice president of market analysis at Oanda.

“I think the loonie from here will actually perform rather well,” Popplewell said. “The (U.S.) dollar bears are now starting to re-emerge in this marketplace.”

The loonie has been boosted this week by optimism that a deal to renew the North American Free Trade Agreement would be reached and a jump in the price of oil, one of Canada’s major exports.

But U.S. oil settled 2.5 per cent lower on Thursday and Canadian heavy crude prices traded at the biggest discount to North American futures in nearly five years.

The Canadian dollar was trading 0.1 per cent higher at $1.2996 to the greenback, or 76.95 U.S. cents. The currency touched its strongest since Aug. 30 at $1.2976.

The modest gain for the loonie came as signs of movement in the U.S.-China trade stand-off and a bumper interest rate hike in emerging market trouble spot Turkey sent world shares higher.

Apple led a rebound in technology shares and boosted all three major U.S. stock indexes on Thursday, while trade worries eased after China welcomed new talks with the United States.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 147.07 points, or 0.57 per cent, to 26,145.99, the S&P 500 gained 12.56 points, or 0.43 per cent, to 2,901.48 and the Nasdaq Composite added 48.74 points, or 0.61 per cent, to 8,002.97

The technology sector climbed 1.2 per cent on the day, boosted by Apple’s 2.4-per-cent gain.

Trade worries softened after the Trump administration invited Beijing for a new round of talks, even as Washington prepared to slap tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods.

The timing of the talks remains unclear and President Donald Trump said in a tweet there is no pressure to make a deal.

On the economic front, U.S. consumer prices rose less than expected in August and underlying inflation pressures also appeared to be slowing, a report from the U.S. Labor Department showed.

“Stocks already got a boost yesterday when investors got word the Trump administration had reached out to China on trade talks. Also the inflation numbers came out lower than people had expected. That’s a positive because it gives the Fed cover to maybe move slower in raising interest rates which is good for equities,” said Burns McKinney, portfolio manager at Allianz Global Investors in Dallas, Texas.

The German DAX added 0.2 per cent and France’s CAC 40 slipped 0.1 per cent. In Britain, the FTSE 100 fell 0.4 per cent.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 added 1 per cent and the South Korean Kospi rose 0.1 per cent.

Benchmark U.S. crude slid 2.5 per cent to $68.59 a barrel in New York. It jumped 4.3 per cent over the previous two days. Brent crude, used to price international oils, shed 2 per cent to $78.18 a barrel in London.

Reuters and The Associated Press

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Tickers mentioned in this story

Study and track financial data on any traded entity: click to open the full quote page. Data updated as of 22/05/24 4:00pm EDT.

SymbolName% changeLast
NGD-T
New Gold Inc
-6.62%2.68
AAPL-Q
Apple Inc
-0.75%190.9
MX-T
Methanex Corp
-2.03%71.47
WEED-T
Canopy Growth Corp
-6.66%12.89
ACB-T
Aurora Cannabis Inc
-3.5%9.38

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