(MENAFN - Baystreet.ca) Equities in Canada's largest centre opened marginally lower on Thursday, led by a dip in material shares on the back of a more than 1% fall in gold prices.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index dropped 25.29 points to open Thursday's session at 16,124.68
The Canadian dollar subtracted 0.19 cents at 75.01 cents U.S.
The federal government said on Wednesday it is beefing up consultations with aboriginal groups to avoid further delays to the Trans Mountain oil pipeline expansion and is confident it will meet a deadline to ensure the critical project goes ahead.
Kinder Morgan, one of the main companies connected with Trans Mountain, deducted a penny to $15.93.
CIBC raised the rating on Great-West Lifeco to outperform from neutral. Great-West gained 18 cents to $31.88.
Credit Suisse cut the rating on Husky Energy to neutral from outperform. Husky shares fell seven cents to $14.08.
RBC raised the price target on Aritzia Inc. to $23.00 from $22.00. Shares in Aritzia took on 12 cents to $16.61.
On the economic front, Statistics Canada's new housing price index stated new housing prices fell in January for the first time since February 2018. The national index declined 0.1% in January, following five consecutive months of unchanged prices.
The TSX Venture Exchange dipped 1.45 points Thursday to 622.77
All but three of the 12 TSX subgroups were negative in the first hour, with gold fading 2.1%, while materials weakened 1.4%, and consumer discretionary stocks off 0.4%.
The three gainers were energy, up 0.7%, while health-care picked up 0.3%, and utilities nosed up 0.1%.
Stocks fell on Thursday while investors also fretted over U.S.-China trade negotiations.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 63.37 points to begin Thursday at 25,639.52
The S&P 500 lost 6.06 points to 2,804.86
The NASDAQ Composite gave back 14.01 points to 7,629.40. Facebook shares were among the big decliners, sliding 2% after a worldwide outage of its core app, Instagram and WhatsApp.
Apple shares rose more than 0.8% after Cowen initiated coverage of the company with an outperform rating and a $220 price target. Cowen cited potential long-term upside from Apple's services business.
Snap, meanwhile, rallied more than 7% after BTIG analyst Richard Greenfield — a longtime skeptic of the social media company — upgraded the stock to buy for the first time.
General Electric seesawed after the industrial giant issued weaker-than-expected earnings guidance for 2019. The stock initially fell around 4% in the pre-market before turning around to trade 2.7% higher.
Media reports are circulating that China and the U.S. are trying to push back a meeting between the countries' two leaders from late March to April at the earliest. This comes after Trump said he was in no rush to form an agreement. Bloomberg's report comes after China's industrial output expanded at its slowest rate in 17 years.
Investors expected the two leaders to meet at Mar-a-Lago later this month as both sides claimed progress was being made on trade negotiations.
Prices for the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury were unchanged, keeping yields at Wednesday's 2.61%.
Oil prices acquired 43 cents to $58.69 U.S. a barrel.
Gold prices lost $13.90 to $1,295.40 U.S. an ounce.