Negative Start to Thursday Session

Equity markets in Toronto fell on Thursday, weighed by energy stocks as a renewed surge in coronavirus infections in some Asian countries raised concerns about oil demand.

The TSX started the session Thursday on the wrong foot, dropping 68.76 points to 19,074.49.

The Canadian dollar stepped back 0.04 cents to 79.93 cents U.S.

Credit Suisse cut the rating on Atco Ltd to neutral from outperform. Atco shares retreated 26 cents to $42.60.

Scotiabank raised the target price on Metro Inc. to $68.00 from $67.00. Shares in the grocery giant docked 47 cents to $57.86.

CIBC raised the rating on Northland Power to outperform from neutral. Northland gained 19 cents to $44.06.

Ballard Power jumped $1.32, or 5.3%, to $26.38, and Laurentian Bank rose $1.34, or 3.3%, to $41.56.

Hudbay Minerals fell 28 cents, or 3%, to $9.06, while Fortuna Silver Mines

slipped 13 cents, or 1.3%, to $9.84.

Toronto-based semiconductor group Alphawave said on Thursday it was planning to apply for a London listing of its shares, adding that the cornerstone agreement with certain investors gave it a valuation of up to $4.5 billion.

In the economic docket, Statistics Canada says new home prices rose 1.1% in March nationally, following one of the largest monthly increases on record in February.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange edged up 2.35 points to 931.26.

All but three of the 12 TSX subgroups were downward in the first hour, with energy sputtering 1.7%, materials down 1.1%, and health-care off 0.9%.

The three gainers were industrials up 0.8%, real-estate, ahead 0.3%, and consumer discretionary stocks, eking 0.1%.

ON WALLSTREET

U.S stocks dipped on Thursday following a strong day of gains as the market appeared stuck in a trading range with investors turning a blind eye on solid earnings and economic data.

The Dow Jones Industrials stumbled 147.12 points to open Thursday at 33,990.19

The S&P 500 caved 8.43 points to 4,164.99.

The NASDAQ Composite inched ahead 1.55 points to 13,951.76.

Shares of Southwest Airlines rose 0.8% after the carrier said leisure travel bookings continue to rise and that it expects to break even “or better” by June. Southwest also posted a narrower-than-expected loss for the first quarter.

Dow Inc. fell more than 4% even after the chemicals company topped earnings and revenue estimates for the first quarter. The stock is still up more than 10% for 2021.

American Airlines erased earlier gains and turned negative even after the company said its cash flow turned positive by the end of the quarter, excluding debt payments.

The market remained lower after a better-than-expected reading on weekly jobless claims. The U.S. Labor Department said Thursday that first-time claims for unemployment insurance totaled 547,000, which was below the Dow Jones estimate for 603,000.

So far, companies have largely topped Wall Street expectations this earnings season, but strong first-quarter results are not lifting the market higher after a run to records pushed valuations near multiyear highs.

Prices for 10-Year Treasurys gained ground, lowering yields to 1.55% from Wednesday’s 1.56%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices docked 24 cents to $61.11 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices retreated $7.90 to $1,785.20 U.S. an ounce.

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