Canada Markets closed

TSX Keeps Gains

Baystreet.ca
Canada's main stock index was little changed on Friday as gains in mining and energy companies were ...

Canada's main stock index was little changed on Friday as gains in mining and energy companies were offset by declines in financial stocks.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index gained 44.79 points to reach noon hour Friday at 15,314.06

The Canadian dollar dropped 0.12 cents to 79.31 cents U.S.

The materials group gained ground, boosted by gains for Teck Resources – climbing 77 cents, or 2.3%, to $33.67 -- and Barrick Gold, up 45 cents, or 2.8%, to $16.62.

The heavyweight energy group rose, led by more than 1% rises in shares of Canadian Natural Resources and Encana Corp. CNQ reached noon at $44.27, while ECA hit $15.06.

IAMGOLD Corp rose 46 cents, or 6.9%, to $7.12, and was the largest percentage gainer on the TSX, while Nexgen Energy was the largest decliner, down 10 cents, or 4.2%, to $2.29.

Among the most active Canadian stocks by volume were Encana Corp and Aurora Cannabis.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange advanced 6.02 points to 788.39

Eight of the 12 TSX subgroups were positive, with gold up 2.5%, while energy fushed 1.5%, and materials soared 1.4%.

The four laggards were co-led by financials and consumer staples, each down 0.3%, with information technology off 0.2%.

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. stocks traded lower on Friday as bank shares gave up their initial gains. The major averages were still on track to post strong weekly gains, however.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average moved lower 56.57 points to 24,426.48, with J.P. Morgan Chase as the worst-performing stock in the index.

The S&P 500 declined 3.59 points to 2,660.40, as financials dropped 1.2%.

The NASDAQ Composite index dipped 20.89 points to 7,119.36

Despite Friday's decline, the major averages were looking forward to strong gains for the week. The Dow and S&P 500 were up nearly 2% week to date Friday, while the NASDAQ had gained 2.6% this week.

Citigroup, Wells Fargo and J.P. Morgan Chase all reported quarterly earnings and revenue that surpassed analyst expectations. Bank shares initially traded higher before falling more than 2%, as the strong results were already priced in

Expectations for this earnings season are high, especially for financials. According to experts, S&P 500 earnings are forecast to have grown by 17.1% last quarter. Financials, meanwhile, are expected to see earnings increase by 24%.

Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are all scheduled to release earnings next week.

Markets have been on edge in recent days after President Donald Trump appeared to criticize the Kremlin for its supporting Syrian President Bashar Assad, following a suspected chemical attack last weekend.

Concerns about a trade war with China are also lingering. The Wall Street Journal reported, citing officials familiar with the matter, that the Trump administration is planning to ratchet up the trade pressure on China through new tariffs and by threatening to block Chinese technology investment in the United States.

In economic news, the University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index ticked down to 97.8 in April from 101.4 in March.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year Treasury note gained ground, weighing yields to 2.82% from Thursday’s 2.84%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices strengthened 44 cents a barrel to $67.51 U.S.

Gold prices added $6.50 to $1,348.40 U.S. an ounce.