TSX finishes flat as energy and metals stocks fall, oil prices unchanged
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TORONTO — It was an especially flat day for Canada's main stock index Friday, with the energy sector among major decliners despite oil prices continuing to hover around the US$50 mark.
The S&P/TSX composite index squeaked out 0.31 of a point to advance to 15,173.03, as the October crude contract remained unchanged at US$49.89 per barrel.
"We were hoping we'd see a bottom in energy stocks and they'd start acting better — that's what the Canadian market needs because that's the way the Canadian market is constructed," said Norman Levine, managing director of Portfolio Management Corp.
"But they're not behaving as well as the commodity."
Levine attributed some of energy stocks' woes to the rising loonie and a weakening greenback — "that's because they sell energy for the most part in U.S. dollars," he explained.
The Canadian dollar was trading at an average price of 82.09 US, up 0.11 of a U.S. cent.
South of the border, it was another day of meagre gains and record highs for two of New York's major indexes.
The Dow Jones industrial average advanced 64.86 points to 22,268.34 on Friday, its fourth straight day of record highs, while the S&P 500 index was up 4.61 points to 2,500.23, its fourth day of reaching a new high since Monday.
Meanwhile, the Nasdaq composite index gained 19.39 points to 6,448.47.
Elsewhere in commodities, the December gold contract declined $4.10 at US$1,325.20 an ounce.
The October natural gas contract was down five cents to US$3.02 per mmBTU and the December copper contract gave back a penny at US$2.95 a pound.
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