Canada’s main stock index fell moderately Thursday, as Wall Street pulled back from the record highs it set the day before.
The S&P/TSX composite index was down 42.23 points to 16,284.47, as the base metals, gold and energy sectors lost ground.
Shares of Husky Energy Inc. were down $1.29, or 6.77%, to $17.77, following Wednesday’s announcement that operations aboard its SeaRose FPSO vessel off the Newfoundland and Labrador coast was ordered suspended by the federal-provincial regulator because of a close call with an iceberg last March.
Meanwhile, TransCanada Corp. was up 2¢, or 0.03%, to $59.84 after the Calgary-based company said Thursday that it has confirmed enough commercial support for its controversial Keystone XL pipeline thanks in part to a commitment from the Alberta government.
South of the border, U.S. stocks were also slightly lower, with Boeing Co. losing 3.1% and Kinder Morgan Inc. falling 2.9%.
In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 97.84 points to 26,017.81. The S&P 500 index inched down 4.53 points to 2,798.03 and the Nasdaq composite index edged back 2.23 points to 7,296.05.
“Yesterday was a big day, you can’t go up every day,” Norman Levine, managing Director of Portfolio Management Corp. in Toronto, said of the modest North American stock movements.
In currency markets, the Canadian dollar continued its slide Thursday after losing ground on Wednesday following the Bank of Canada’s dovish interest rate hike announcement that it would raise its key interest rate target by a quarter of a percentage point to 1.25%.
That saw investors grapple with uncertainty after the central bank said it would be cautious about future rate hikes due to unknowns surrounding the future of the North American Free Trade Agreement.
The currency closed at an average trading value of US80.35¢, down 0.13 of a U.S. cent, on Thursday.
“The loonie to me looks expensive here because based on our belief of the Canadian economy, the optimistic views about how many rate increases are going to be coming in Canada ain’t going to be happening. You might get one more this year, or you might be done,” said Levine.
A stronger-than-expected jobs report released by Statistics Canada earlier this month had in part played into economists widely-held expectations that a rate hike would be announced Wednesday — but Levine said he thinks the jobs numbers “were overstated and will get revised, and things are not going to look as wonderful as it seemed.”
In commodities, the March crude contract gave back US3¢ to US$63.89 per barrel and the February natural gas contract was down US4¢ to US$3.19 per mmBTU.
The February gold contract fell US$12.00 to US$1,327.20 an ounce and the March copper contract was up one cent to US$3.20 a pound.
With a file from The Associated Press