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Financials and Energy stocks send Canadian market lower

Xinhua, January 13, 2017 Adjust font size:

Canada's main stock market in Toronto dipped on Thursday as declines in energy and financials groups weighed in.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's benchmark Standard & Poor's/TSX Composite retreated 73.38 points, or 0.47 percent, to close the day at 15,418.16 points. Eight of the ten sub-sectors finished the session lower.

Energy and Financials, the two largest groups in the TSX by weight, had the biggest influence on the day, falling 0.90 percent and 0.54 percent, respectively.

Despite increases in crude oil and natural gas prices, the energy group still slumped for a sixth straight session. Calgary-based MEG Energy Corp. contributed to the loss, as shares dipped 5.41 percent to 7.96 Canadian dollars (6.06 U.S. dollars) after announcing plans to refinance their debt and increase capital spending in 2017 to 590 million Canadian dollars, a 372 percent increase compared to 2016. MEG Energy was the fourth most traded stock on the day with a volume of nearly 6.5 million shares.

Calgary group members Baytex Energy Corp. and Encana Corporation were also among the ten most traded stocks during the session, declining 3.28 percent and 0.47 percent, respectively. A barrel of Brent crude oil delivered in March finished at 56.06 U.S. dollars a barrel, a 1.58 percent increase.

The Financials group, which accounts for the largest weight within the index, declined as insurance firm Manulife Financial Corporation fell 1.81 percent. Two of the country's largest banks also contributed, as Bank of Montreal and Bank of Nova Scotia saw shares fade 0.89 percent and 0.62 percent, respectively.

Other groups that finished lower on the day were Consumer Discretionary (1.15 percent), Industrials (0.51 percent), Health Care (0.41 percent), Consumer Staples (0.40 percent), Materials (0.40 percent), and Information Technology (0.14 percent).

Consumer Discretionary, a group comprised of producers of non-essentials goods such as automobiles, apparel and entertainment, saw the biggest percentage drop on the day from losses in three of the largest group members.

Shares of Calgary-based Shaw Communications fell 1.88 percent to 27.66 Canadian dollars (21.06 U.S. dollars) after reporting a first quarter net income of 89 million Canadian dollars, a 59.17 percent decline from the 218 million dollar figure in the same period last year.

Department store retailer Hudson's Bay Company continued to slump, falling 3.40 percent to 9.08 Canadian dollars (6.91 U.S. dollars) a share. The stock has dipped a combined 22.13 percent in the last three sessions after reporting poor sales during the nine-week holiday season in 2016.

Automotive supplier, Magna International Inc. also contributed to the group's demise, as shares declined 1.50 percent to 59.18 Canadian dollars (45.07 U.S. dollars) despite announcing a new paint shop in Slovenia that would create 400 new jobs.

The TSX Materials group, which feature producers of gold, precious metals, and raw materials, fell despite the spot price of gold touching 1,200 U.S. dollars an ounce during the session. The spot price of bullion closed the day at 1,195.00 U.S. dollars, a 0.33 percent uplift from the day prior.

The lone groups to finish higher on the day were Utilities and Telecommunications, with respective gains of 0.53 percent and 0.23 percent.

Utilities was fueled by Alberta-based companies Capital Power Corporation and TransAlta Corporation, who saw shares rise 2.30 percent and 1.95 percent, respectively on the day.

The Canadian dollar climbed 0.25 cents to finish the day at a four-week high of 0.7615 U.S. dollars. Endite