Canada market closes lower for first time in seven sessions

Source: Xinhua| 2017-03-31 08:11:55|Editor: Mengjie
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TORONTO, March 30 (Xinhua) -- Canada's main stock market ended a run of six consecutive days with gains on Thursday, as deals in the energy and financial sectors outweighed gains from Consumer Discretionary stocks.

After closing at a five-week high, the Toronto Stock Exchange's benchmark Standard & Poor's/TSX Composite slipped 78.87 points, or 0.50 percent to finish the trading day at 15,578.76 points. Half of the ten sub-groups ended the session lower.

For a third straight session, the energy sector had the biggest impact on the index. The group dipped 2.60 percent after Calgary-based Cenovus Energy Inc. announced the purchase of oil sands and natural gas assets from Houston-based ConocoPhillips for 17.7 billion Canadian dollars.

The acquisition will allow Cenovus to produce an additional 298,000 barrels of oil a day, making them the third largest producer in Canada behind Suncor Energy Inc. and Canadian Natural Resources Limited. In order to finance the deal, Cenovus has sold three billion Canadian dollars worth of shares at a discount and will need to take on a bridge loan of 10.5 billion dollars.

Investors did not react well to the news, as shares plunged 13.75 percent to 15.50 Canadian dollars and were the top traded stock with volume exceeding 20 million.

Also contributing the group' s loss was a trio of Calgary-based top-ten traded energy firms. Encana Corporation shares dipped 3.09 percent, while Suncor Energy Inc. and Baytex Energy Corp. rounded out the list with respective losses of 2.05 percent and 1.50 percent. All three saw losses despite the barrel price of Brent crude oil delivered in May rising 1.13 percent to 52.90 U.S. dollars, its third straight day of increases.

The remaining laggard groups on the day were: Materials (0.70 percent), Health Care (0.49 percent), Financials (0.25 percent), and Utilities (0.24 percent).

The TSX Financial group was also affected by a deal, as Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, the fifth largest bank in the country, saw shares slip 2.92 percent to 113.78 Canadian dollars after increasing their bid price for Chicago-based PrivateBancorp Inc to 6.6 billion Canadian dollars. The new price is a 20 percent increase from their previous bid submitted in June of last year.

Shares of the country's other banks remained relatively unchanged. Royal Bank of Canada dipped 0.33 percent, while Bank of Montreal shares faded 0.20 percent.

Not all groups lost ground on Thursday, as the Consumer Discretionary group led the charge with a 1.31 percent gain on the day. The group which consists of producers of non-essentials goods such as automobiles, apparel and entertainment was led by Montreal-based dollar-store franchise Dollarama Inc.

Shares of the firm which sells items at a fixed price for up to four Canadian dollars each soared 11.17 percent to 110.88 Canadian dollars after reporting better-than-expected quarterly earnings of 855 million Canadian dollars. In addition, the company plans to offer credit card payment option across all 1,905 stores by April 2018.

Meanwhile, retailers Hudson's Bay Company and Canadian Tire Corporation saw shares jump 3.90 percent and 0.75 percent, respectively. Also aiding the group was online gambling firm Amaya Inc. after shares climbed 2.46 percent to settle at 22.89 Canadian dollars.

The remaining sectors to finish Thursday's session in positive territory were: Information Technology (0.25 percent), Consumer Staples (0.24 percent), Telecommunications (0.22 percent), and Industrials (0.06 percent).

The Canadian dollar did not see any changes on the day, remaining at 0.7500 U.S. dollars.