Around midday, the S&P/TSX Composite Index was up a statistically insignificant two points, to 13,380. The loonie was changing hands at 95.44 cents US, unchanged since Friday’s close.
The resource sector was a source of weakness, with gold and raw materials both moving lower. The gold index lost almost two per cent as the price of bullion shed almost $3 to $1,280 an ounce.
Gold lower, energy higher
Two of the largest gold miners in the world, Goldcorp and Barrick Gold, both saw their shares decline. The base metals sector was off 0.6 per cent despite copper and zinc prices being flat on the day.
The energy sector was up slightly as the price of a barrel of oil moved up 13 cents to $94.73 a barrel. That’s the price for the U.S. oil blend known as West Texas Intermediate.
But because of pipeline capacity and other issues, Canadian oil producers receive much less for their oil. The Canadian benchmark Western Canada Select is currently trading for $39 less than WTI. The gap has averaged about $25 per barrel for the last 12 months, but it’s been widening for the last month.
In part because of that, shares in Canadian oil company Suncor were slightly lower in light trading at $36.86 on Monday. Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. was also down about 0.5 per cent, and Husky was down by 1.5 per cent to $30.12 a share. Cenovus shares were also lower at $30.21.
The telecom sector was a source of strength, with news of a $400-million pact to merge Ottawa-based Mitel Networks Corp. and Toronto-based Aastra Technologies Ltd.
Share of both companies were higher.