The Canadian stock market ended on a positive note on Thursday, but gains for the benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index was just marginal, as shares from consumer staples section suffered a setback even as those from healthcare and energy sectors had a pretty strong outing.
The market gained in early trades thanks to optimism about a Sino-U.S. trade deal rose after positive comments from President Donald Trump. However, the market retreated from higher levels by mid morning and thereafter struggled to move up any significantly as investors stayed reluctant to make significant moves.
The TSX ended up 7.29 points, or 0.04%, at 16,946.90, about 85 points down from the day's high of 17,031.88.
The Capped Healthcare Index gained 5.61%. Bausch Health Companies (BHC.TO) rallied 8.7%, Aphria Inc. (APHA.TO) gained 7.6%, Cronos Group (CRON.TO) advanced 7.25%, Aurora Cannabis (ACB.TO) advanced 6.8%, Canopy Growth Corporation (WEED.TO) ended up 4.4% and Hexo Corp (HEXO.TO) gained nearly 2.5%.
The Capped Energy Index advanced 2.07%. Baytex Energy (BTE.TO), Encana Corp (ECA.TO), Enerplus Corp (ERF.TO), Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO), Vermilion Energy (VET.TO), Whitecap Resources (WCP.TO) and Crescent Point Energy (CPG.TO) gained 3 to 4%.
Prairiesky Royalty (PSK.TO), MEG Energy (MEG.TO), Husky Energy (HSE.TO), Cenovus Energy (CVE.TO), Tourmaline Oil Corp (TOU.TO) and Seven Generations Energy (VII.TO) also ended with strong gains.
Consumer staples stock Empire Company (EMP.A.TO) declined more than 9%. Weston George (WN.TO), Loblaw (L.TO), Metro Inc. (MRU.TO) and Premium Brands Holdings (PBH.TO) ended lower by 1.5 to 2.1%.
First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO) and Bombardier Inc. (BBD.B.TO) gained 2.6% and 2.1%, respectively.
Kinross Gold Corporation (K.TO), Yamana Gold (YRI.TO) and Barrick Gold Corporation (ABX.TO) ended lower by 0.5 to 1.4%.
U.S. stocks ended higher and the major averages all finished the day firmly in positive territory.
The Dow advanced 0.8%. The Nasdaq and the S&P 500 climbed 0.7% and 0.9%, respectively, ending the session at new record closing highs.
Markets across Europe closed higher, while those in the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance.
In commodities, West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for January ended up $0.42, or about 0.7%, at $59.18 a barrel.
Gold futures for February ended down $2.70, or about 0.2%, at $1,472.30 an ounce.
Silver futures for March ended up $0.100 at $16.949 an ounce, while Copper futures for March settled at $2.7965 per pound, gaining $0.0070 for the session.