TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index ended flat on Thursday, with lower commodity prices weighing on miners, offsetting gains for most major banks and some energy companies trying to restart production after a raging wildfire.
Enbridge Inc (ENB.TO) added 1.9 percent to C$51.69 as it said it was steadily resuming service on its pipeline network through Canada’s energy heartland about a week after the fire shut down operations in the Fort McMurray, Alberta area.
It also reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit.
The overall energy sector rose 0.3 percent.
Crescent Point Energy Corp (CPG.TO) rose 4.9 percent to C$21.36 despite reporting a bigger quarterly loss. The company, whose shares have lost a third of their value in the last 12 months, said it would have C$300 million of excess free cash flow for 2016 if oil prices average $45 a barrel.
Gold miners were among the heaviest weights on the index, as a stronger U.S. dollar pressured bullion prices. [GOL/]
The materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, lost 1.8 percent.
“The resource areas of the market have been extremely strong this year and likely are going to see a pullback here given they look pretty stretched and likely overbought,” said Youssef Zohny, portfolio manager at StennerZohny Investment Partners+ of Richardson GMP Ltd.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed down 0.41 points, or flat on a percentage basis, at 13,769.99. It touched a 10-day high earlier in the session.
Healthcare stocks were down 0.7 percent, with Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc (VRX.TO) falling 5.6 percent to C$31.94. A key figure at a major hedge fund invested in the battered drug company is leaving the fund, its founder said.
The country’s biggest banks will report quarterly earnings starting on May 25, and Zohny said they could be poised to disappoint given decent valuations and the risk of surprisingly large loan loss provisions.
National Bank of Canada (NA.TO) has already warned that it expects bad loans in the oil and gas space to hurt its earnings.
Half of the index’s 10 main groups were in positive territory, with advancers slightly outnumbering decliners.
Canadian Tire Corp CTCa.TO gained 4.5 percent to C$145.37 after the retailer beat profit expectations.
Reporting by Alastair Sharp; Editing by Nick Zieminski and David Gregorio