Equities in Canada’s biggest market tumbled on Wednesday, weighed down by the heavyweight financial sector.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index backpedaled 91.45 points to approach noon hour Wednesday at 16,002.80
The Canadian dollar eked up 0.36 cents to 76.92 cents.
The financial sector slipped 0.3 percent as shares of Royal Bank of Canada dropped 50 cents to $103.25, Toronto-Dominion Bank dipped 42 cents to $78.70, and Bank of Montreal fell 82 cents to $106.26.
In a bright spot, shares of Bausch Health Companies jumped $3.28, or 12.1%, to $30.40, helping the health-care sector rise. The company's shares rose after it resolved intellectual property litigation related to its bowel disorder drug, Xifaxan, with Actavis Laboratories.
The largest percentage gainers on the TSX were shares of New Gold Inc, which jumped 21 cents, or 20.4%, to $1.24, after the company named a new chief executive officer.
The top decliner on the TSX was Altagas, which fell 66 cents, or 2.7%, to $24.53, followed by Empire Co, down 67 cents, or 2.6%, to $24.71.
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries further trimmed its forecast for 2019 global oil demand growth and said the risk to the economic outlook was skewed to the downside, adding a new challenge to OPEC's efforts to support the market next year.
Canada is ready to offer the United States limited access to the Canadian dairy market as a concession in negotiations to rework the North American Free Trade Agreement.
The TSX Venture Exchange weakened 0.19 points to 722.01
All but three of the 12 subgroups were lower midday, as industrial and information technology stocks fell back 1.2%, while telecoms were 0.6% in the red
The two gainers were health-care, up 0.3%, and gold, shining only 0.2%.
Energy stocks were unchanged late in the morning Wednesday.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose to a session high on Wednesday after a report said the U.S. is proposing new trade talks with China.
The 30-stock index vaulted 167.35 points to 26,138.41, with Boeing among the best performing stocks in the index.
The S&P 500 poked ahead 6.45 points to 2,894.34, erasing earlier losses. Pressure in tech shares also contributed to the index's easing from the all-time high. The S&P 500 tech sector is down 1.8% through Tuesday's close.
The NASDAQ weakened 21.06 points to 7,951.42, off its lows of the morning.
Shares of Micron dropped more than 6% after Goldman Sachs downgraded them to neutral from buy, citing a "snowballing" decline in memory-chip demand.
Shares of Dow-member Intel fell nearly 2% while Applied Materials skidded 3.2%, and Lam Research pulled back 1.9%.
Semiconductor stocks have been under pressure lately amid heightened concerns of slowing memory-chip demand, helping drag the broader tech space lower. The SMH has dropped more than 3% this month while the S&P 500 tech sector is down 1.8% through Tuesday's close.
Tech shares have also fallen amid increasing regulatory pressure toward social media companies, especially Facebook and Twitter. Facebook shares slipped 1.3% while Twitter dropped 2.5%.
Apple shares, meanwhile, fell more than 1.5% ahead of an expected unveiling of new iPhone models.
Dow Jones reported that the U.S. is proposing a new round of talks with China in the near future. The report says the talks are aimed at getting bilateral economic negotiations back on track.
China will seek permission from the World Trade Organization to inflict sanctions upon the U.S. as tensions between the two largest global economies continue. Last Friday, President Donald Trump told reporters that he was "ready to go" on hitting China with an additional $267 billion worth of tariffs, on top the already $200 billion in tariffs, previously announced.
Prices for the benchmark for the 10-year U.S. Treasury gained a bit of ground, weighing down yields to 2.97% from Tuesday’s 2.98%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.
Oil prices gained $1.53 to $70.78 U.S. a barrel.
Gold prices gained $6.10 to $1,208.30