(MENAFN - Baystreet.ca) Canada's main stock index hovered around the breakeven point midday Thursday, as shares of precious metal miners dropped after gold prices fell on a strong reading of inflation in the United States.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index dropped 11.21 points to greet noon at 16,552.08
The Canadian dollar was unchanged at 76.49 cents U.S.
The top percentage gainer on the TSX proved to be Cogeco Communications, which jumped $3.95, or 4.2%, to $97.80.
Whitecap Resources gave up earlier gains, and was unchanged at noon hour to $4.39
CannTrust Holdings fell 17 cents, or 4.1%, to $3.95, followed by shares of Methanex Corp, down $2.37, or 4.2%, to $54.16
On matters macroeconomic, Statistics Canada's new housing price index was released for May, with the figure down 0.1%, after remaining unchanged for three consecutive months.
The TSX Venture Exchange slid 4.23 points to pause for lunch at 581.62
Eight of the 12 Toronto subgroups were lower, as health-care slumbered 1.2%, while real-estate docked 0.6%, and consumer staples doffed 0.4%.
The four gainers were led by utilities, progressing 0.3%, while communications and industrials forged ahead 0.2% each.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rallied to a record high on Thursday, led by UnitedHealth shares, after testimony by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell that signaled easier monetary policy could be implemented later this month.
The 30-stock index leaped 196.22 points to 27,056.42, breaking above 27,000 for the first time in its history.
The S&P 500 gained 7.31 points to 3,008.38
The NASDAQ Composite gathered 16.43 points to 8,218.96
UnitedHealth shares surged more than 5% after the White House dropped a proposal to eliminate drug rebates. CVS Health gained 5.7%, and Cigna also jumped on the news, picking up 12%.
Delta Air Lines rose 0.9% on better-than-expected earnings. Amazon traded 0.6% higher, bringing its market cap back above $1 trillion.
In testimony to the House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday, Powell said business investments across the U.S. have slowed "notably" recently as uncertainties over the economic outlook linger. As a result, expectations of an upcoming rate cut grew.
In economic news, the U.S. consumer price index — a widely followed measure of inflation — rose more than expected last month, with the core CPI posting its biggest gain in one-and-a-half years.
Prices for the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury faded, raising yields to 2.10% from Wednesday's 2.07%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.
Oil prices improved 29 cents to $60.72 U.S. a barrel.
Gold prices eked up 80 cents to $1,413.50 U.S. an ounce.