TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index pared most of its losses on Wednesday, rebounding from an earlier one-week low as financials turned higher, while energy stocks retreated ahead of a meeting this week of major oil producers.
Energy stocks fell 1.1 percent as investors turned cautious ahead of Thursday’s meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, or OPEC. [O/R]
Suncor Energy Inc (SU.TO) declined 1.6 percent to C$35.36, while U.S. crude CLc1 prices settled down 9 cents at $49.01 after some losses were pared.
“I think we could see a bit of a trading correction over the next few weeks. There’s a lot of big events that can rock the markets,” said Colin Cieszynski, senior market analyst at CMC Markets Canada, who mentioned the OPEC meeting, the upcoming Federal Reserve interest rate decision and the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE ended down 2.24 points, or 0.02 percent, at 14,063.54. It touched its lowest since May 24 at 13,959.59.
Five of the index’s 10 main groups ended lower.
Still, the index has rallied 22 percent from an almost 3-1/2-year low of 11,531.22 in January. It ended the month of May with a 0.8 percent gain.
Shares of National Bank of Canada (NA.TO) fell 0.7 percent to C$43.20. The bank reported a 48 percent drop in quarterly profit after it set aside funds to cover loans to oil and gas companies that had turned sour.
However, the overall financials group edged 0.2 percent higher, including a 1.2 percent gain for Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) to C$64.89.
Industrials rose 0.5 percent and healthcare advanced 0.7 percent.
Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO) has agreed to pay $140 million to resolve a U.S. lawsuit accusing the gold producer of concealing problems at a South American mine and of fraudulently inflating the company’s market value, according to court papers.
Its shares rose 0.7 percent to C$22.07, while the overall materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, was nearly unchanged.
Husky Energy Inc (HSE.TO), Canada’s No. 3 integrated oil company, said it expected to generate free cash flow and may reinstate a cash dividend as crude prices have rallied in recent weeks. Its shares rose 0.3 percent to C$15.18.
The pace of growth in Canadian manufacturing was little changed in May as measures of new orders and employment slowed, the latest sign the economy is struggling to gain momentum.
Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by James Dalgleish and Chris Reese