TSX slips as weaker commodities weigh

By Shashwat Chauhan

© Reuters/CHRIS HELGREN The Toronto Stock Exchange sing is seen in Toronto

(Reuters) -Canada’s main stock index slipped on Friday, dragged down by lower precious metal and crude prices, but was on course for it second consecutive week of gains on optimism over a slowing pace of interest rate hikes and upbeat earnings.

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At 10:12 a.m. ET (1412 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index fell 0.36% to 19,282.7.

The energy index slipped 0.7% as crude prices fell after top importer China widened its COVID-19 curbs. Brent crude futures dropped 0.7% to $96.3 per barrel. [O/R]

The materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, lost almost 2%, tracking weakness in prices of precious metals including gold and silver. [GOL/]

However, earnings continued to be a bright spot, with Imperial Oil surging 7.2% after it reported a jump in third-quarter profit on the back of higher energy prices.

Air Canada rose 3.7% after the carrier said its quarterly revenue more than doubled as it flew more people helped by strong summer travel demand.

“With the exception of the big technology earnings, generally speaking, earnings season has been pretty good this year so far,” said Colin Cieszynski, chief market strategist at SIA Wealth Management.

Data showed Canada’s economy grew slightly more than expected in August and most likely stayed in positive territory through the summer, a result that did not change expectations for another smaller rate hike.

The Bank of Canada on Wednesday announced a smaller-than-expected interest rate hike and said it was getting closer to the end of its historic tightening campaign, sparking gains across equity markets.

Shares of gold mining company Eldorado Gold Corp fell 9.9% after reporting a loss in the third quarter.

Communication stocks were among the weak performers, with shares of Rogers Communications Inc falling 1.1% and Shaw Communications down 5.2% after companies failed to mediate their differences with Canada’s competition bureau over a merger deal.

(Reporting by Shashwat Chauhan in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber and Krishna Chandra Eluri)

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