Toronto stock index dips, Canada's dollar up

TORONTO — Canada’s main stock index ended higher as gains in industrials outweighed declines from auto parts companies, while U.S. markets gained on strength in the technology sector.

The S&P/TSX Capped consumer discretionary index was down 0.65 per cent as auto parts companies including Magna International, Linamar Corp, and Martinrea International slid on tariff concerns, said Michael Currie, an investment advisor at TD Wealth.

“Consumer discretionary, which is really in today’s case talking about the auto stocks, the Magnas, Martinreas, Linamars, all getting beat up pretty good on the nervousness on NAFTA and the tariffs, especially with Trump talking about the auto tariffs.”

The slide in the auto sector was countered by strong quarterly earnings results on the industrials side including rail and equipment companies.  

“On the flip side we have industrials with really good numbers, we have Toromont hitting a record high, CN Rail, by far the biggest one hitting a record high, CP’s up strong,” said Currie.

Toromont, which runs a large network of Caterpillar dealerships among other equipment businesses, closed up $8.45 or 14.65 per cent at $66.14. CN Rail, which increased its annual earnings expectations and its spending plans, closed up $4.74 or 4.23 per cent at $116.74.

Gains from the companies helped the S&P/TSX capped industrials index closed up 2.14 per cent on the day, while the energy sector also rose as crude prices climbed.

Overall, the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index closed up 30.63 points at 16,420.76 as strong earnings were somewhat tempered by trade fears, said Currie. 

“The overall theme is we’re getting pretty good numbers out of the companies, but a note of caution just because of the tariffs and trade skirmish.”

Trade concerns featured prominently as European Union officials were meeting with U.S. counterparts Wednesday.

U.S President Donald Trump said after market close that the two sides

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