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Canada’s main stock index edged higher on Tuesday as gains for the materials group offset declines for railroad shares and Shopify Inc. after it reported quarterly results.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index unofficially closed up 11.05 points, or 0.07 per cent, at 15,618.93. Seven of the index’s 10 main groups ended higher.

Materials stocks rose 0.5 per cent. First Quantum Minerals Ltd. increased 1.2 per cent, while West Fraser Timber Co Ltd. was up 1.5 per cent.

Meanwhile, energy stocks fell 0.4 per cent, led by a 1.5-per-cent drop by Imperial Oil Ltd. Vermilion Energy Inc. lost 1.4 per cent, while Suncor Energy Inc. finished down 0.5 per cent.

Oil and gas producer Encana Corp. beat analysts’ estimates with a 50-per-cent rise in adjusted profit for the first-quarter, sending its shares up 1 per cent.

Industrial stocks declined 0.8 per cent on the day with Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. losing 1.8 per cent and rival Canadian National Railway Co. dropping 1.2 per cent.

Shopify Inc. suffered a 5-per-cent drop, despite posting a surprise quarterly profit and lifting its full year outlook.

One of the largest percentage gainer on the TSX was Colliers International Group, which rose 7.8 per cent after the company reported first-quarter results that topped analysts’ estimates.

The S&P 500 eked out a gain on Tuesday after comments from a Trump administration official on trade with China and the Mexican economy minister on the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement provided cause for optimism.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 64.1 points, or 0.27 per cent, to 24,099.05, the S&P 500 gained 6.74 points, or 0.25 per cent, to 2,654.79 and the Nasdaq Composite added 64.44 points, or 0.91 per cent, to 7,130.70

The dollar broke into positive territory for the year and U.S. bond yields inched higher again on Tuesday as the recent rise in oil prices fueled expectations the Federal Reserve could flag more interest rate hikes at its policy meeting this week.

Apple’s quarterly results are due after Wall Street closes and will be a big focus after several weeks of speculation about ebbing smartphone demand based on selective reports from companies in its supply chain.

Technology sector results so far – at least from the likes of Amazon, Alphabet, Microsoft, Samsung and SAP – have broadly beaten forecasts for Q1 and the overall aggregate U.S. earnings growth is tracking seven-year highs of almost 25 per cent.

The dollar attracted attention as it turned positive for 2018 just ahead of a two-day Fed meeting that is expected to pave the way for more rate hikes this year.

A divergence between growth and the rate outlook versus those of other countries prompted investors to push the currency higher.

The dollar index rose 0.71 per cent, with the euro down 0.74 per cent to $1.1988.

“We’re pretty much back to where we were at the beginning of the year, so a lot of the dollar weakness has been pretty much wiped out,” said Sireen Harajli, foreign exchange strategist at Mizuho in New York.

MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe shed 0.38 per cent.

May Day holidays across Asia and Europe meant trading was thinner than usual.

U.S. Treasury yields rose, with prices pressured ahead of a quarterly refunding announcement. The U.S. Treasury is scheduled to announce its findings on a refunding survey on Wednesday, with analysts projecting an increase in auction sizes, or new issuance at different points on the yield curve.

Benchmark 10-year notes last fell 9/32 in price to yield 2.9681 per cent, from 2.936 per cent late on Monday.

Brent oil prices eased off four-month highs of just over $75 a barrel set on Monday on worries that U.S. President Donald Trump may pull out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and thereby bring back sanctions on its oil output.

The White House had said on Monday that information provided by Israel on Iran’s nuclear program had provided “new and compelling details.”

A high-level U.S. trade delegation will also be in Beijing for meetings later this week, amid lingering worries about a possible trade war between the world’s top two economies.

U.S. crude fell $1.32 to settle at $67.25 a barrel, while Brent dropped $1.56 to $73.13.

Gold slid to a four-month low as the dollar strengthened. Spot gold was down 0.7 per cent at $1,306.26 an ounce, off an earlier low $1,301.51, its weakest since Dec. 29.

Reuters

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