TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index edged lower on Monday as railroad and materials shares declined, offsetting gains for the energy group, which was supported by higher oil prices.
- The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE fell 5.48 points, or 0.03 percent, to 16,347.98.
- The modest decline came ahead of the resumption of talks on Tuesday to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement.
- Losses for the index were pared as stocks on Wall Street reached record highs after a deal by U.S. senators to end the federal government shutdown.
- The industrials group, which includes railroad stocks, declined 0.6 percent. Canadian National Railway Co (CNR.TO), which is due to report fourth-quarter earnings on Tuesday, fell 1.6 percent to C$99.39, while Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd (CP.TO) was down 0.8 percent at C$231.66.
- The materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, also lost 0.6 percent.
- Teck Resources Ltd (TECKb.TO) declined 1.4 percent to C$36.27, while Franco-Nevada Corp (FNV.TO), which acquired an additional precious metals stream at the Cobre Panama mining project, fell 3.4 percent to C$94.51.
- Gold futures GCc1 fell 0.3 percent to $1,328.4 an ounce.[GOL/]
- Just four of the index’s 10 main groups ended lower
- The energy group gained 0.4 percent as oil prices rose. U.S. crude oil futures CLc1 settled 0.4 percent higher at $63.62 a barrel. [O/R]
- The largest percentage gainer on the TSX was Home Capital Group Inc (HCG.TO), which climbed 10.5 percent after TD Securities raised its target price on the stock to C$21 from C$17.
- The overall financial services group, which accounts for more than one-third of the TSX’s weight, rose 0.1 percent. It was helped by gains for some of the country’s major banks, with Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) advancing 0.5 percent to C$74.41.
- Among the most active Canadian stocks by volume was Aurora Cannabis (ACB.TO), which rose 7.6 percent to $14.50 after Reuters reported on Friday that the marijuana producer was in talks to buy CanniMed Therapeutics Inc (CMED.TO) and Newstrike Resources Ltd (HIP.V) in a friendly deal.
- Investors are betting Canada’s smaller financial firms could see a jump in revenues after they helped fund marijuana companies ahead of the country’s planned legalization of the drug this year.
Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by Andrea Ricci and Peter Cooney