TSX muted as drop in energy stocks offset by gold miners

  • TD Bank down on First Horizon takeover deadline extension
  • Chartwell Retirement gains on Scotiabank upgrade
  • Energy stocks down 1%, miners rise 0.6%

April 20 (Reuters) – Canada’s commodity-heavy index struggled for direction on Thursday as energy stocks tracked weakness in crude prices, while gains in precious metal miners capped losses.

At 10:08 a.m. ET (1408 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index (.GSPTSE) was up 7.47 points, or 0.04%, at 20,688.3.

The energy sector (.SPTTEN) dropped 1.0% as oil prices fell to their lowest in about three weeks, extending a 2% decline from Wednesday, with rate hike expectations from the Federal Reserve outweighing lower U.S. crude inventories.

“We’re seeing a continued decline in the economy, especially in the U.S., which obviously affects us here in Canada,” said Allan Small, senior investment advisor at Allan Small Financial Group with iA Private Wealth.

“The slowing economy is really weighing on commodities and is offsetting any gains we would have seen in oil based on production cuts.”

The TSX ended its eight-day winning streak on Wednesday, dragged down by energy stocks as crude prices dipped on looming Fed rate hikes that could curb energy demand from the world’s top consumer.

Materials, which includes precious and base metal miners (.GSPTTMT), rose 0.6%, supported by gold prices gaining against the dollar.

Technology stocks (.SPTTTK) shed 0.3%, mirroring declines in tech-heavy Nasdaq (.IXIC), while the defensive consumer staples stocks (.GSPTTCS) added 0.7%.

In company news, Chartwell Retirement Residences (CSH_u.TO) added 3.7% after Scotiabank upgraded the real estate investment trust to “sector outperform” from “sector perform”, helping the healthcare sector (.GSPTTHC) gain 0.6%.

Shares of Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) edged 0.2% lower after the lender said its planned takeover of First Horizon Corp (FHN.N) is unlikely to close by its slated deadline and the company is in talks about a “possible extension”.

Reporting by Shristi Achar A in Bengaluru; Editing by Shilpi Majumdar

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Shristi is a correspondent, part of the markets team reporting on the stock markets across U.S., UK, Canada, Europe and Emerging markets.