TORONTO — It was a flat trading day as Canada’s main stock index inched forward Thursday, while a volatile session saw U.S. markets tick lower.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s the S&P/TSX composite index gained 13 points to 15,076.16.
South of the border, New York indices slipped into the red, but only after a circuitous ride that saw them flip multiple times between small gains and losses.
The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 28.69 points to 21,783.40, the S&P 500 index lost 5.07 points to 2,438.97, and the Nasdaq composite index retreated 7.08 points to 6,271.33.
Tim Morton, senior vice-president at TD Wealth, said it’s been a tumultuous time for U.S. stock markets in recent weeks amid political drama coming out of the Washington.
Hurting stocks have been doubt about how much help President Donald Trump’s Republican-led White House and Congress can provide for businesses. Several crucial deadlines are coming up that could damage the American economy, including a vote to avoid a default on its national debt.
Morton said U.S. markets have done very well overall in 2017 but are now taking a bit of a pause.
Meanwhile, Canada’s market thus far has “done really relatively little.”
One event capturing investors’ attention is an annual meeting of central bankers, economists and policy makers in Jackson Hole, Wyo., that began Thursday.
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and European Central Bank President Mario Draghi are expected to speak on Friday at the annual conference, which is sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
In currency markets, the Canadian dollar jumped 0.22 of a U.S. cent, trading at an average price of 79.81 cents US.
In commodities, the October crude contract shed 98 cents to US$47.43 per barrel and the October natural gas contract rose 2.2 cents to US$2.98 per mmBTU.
The December gold contract fell US$2.70 to US$1,292.00 an ounce and the September copper contract advanced about 5.4 cents to US$3.03 a pound.