The Canadian stock market benchmark turned mixed on Wednesday after consistently posting gains in the previous eight sessions, as a steep downside correction in oil and metals prices weighed on commodity-linked stocks. After falling as much as 78 points during intraday trading, the TSX Composite Index recovered later to end the volatile session with a minor four-point loss at 20,681.
Despite heavy losses in metal mining and energy stocks, strength in other key market sectors like industrials, utilities, and financials helped the main TSX index limit its losses.
Top TSX Composite movers and active stocks
Weakness in gold and copper prices drove the shares of Capstone Copper, Lundin Mining, Centerra Gold, and NovaGold Resources, which are down by at least 3.3%, making them the worst-performing TSX stocks for the day.
On the flip side, Richelieu Hardware and Aritzia rose at least 3% each to become top gainers on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
Metro (TSX:MRU) witnessed a minor 0.6% increase to $75.28 per share, despite announcing better-than-expected quarterly earnings and revenue. In the quarter ended on March 11, the Canadian food and pharmacy retail giant’s revenue climbed 6.6% year over year to $4.56 million with the help of strong growth in its online food sales.
Despite inflationary pressures, stronger margins in Metro’s pharmacy business drove its adjusted quarterly earnings up 17.1% from a year ago to $0.96 per share. Interestingly, MRU stock hasn’t seen any notable change on a year-to-date basis, even as it has beaten Street analysts’ earnings estimates in the last three consecutive quarters.
Based on their daily trade volume, B2Gold, Suncor Energy, Athabasca Oil, and TD Bank were yesterday’s most heavily traded stocks on the exchange.
The main TSX index is expected to open lower today with losses in commodity-linked stocks, as crude oil and copper prices continued to dive early Thursday morning.
While no key domestic economic releases are due on April 20, Canadian investors can monitor the monthly manufacturing, existing home sales, and the weekly jobless claims data from the United States this morning. Investors may want to brace for higher volatility in the coming days, as the first-quarter corporate earnings season in Canada kicks off.