Daily Wrap-Up: TSX flat as oil, gold prices tumble

TSX flat as oil, gold prices tumble... NAFTA negotiations will include big changes... Scotia could sell Malaysian business unit...

Daily Wrap-Up: TSX flat as oil, gold prices tumble
Steve Randall
TSX flat as oil, gold prices tumble
The main index of the TSX was pressured Thursday as oil and gold prices fell but the energy sector managed to hold up as Canadian Natural Resources announced its acquisition of most of Shell’s Canadian oilsands interests.

CNR gained 9 per cent but the energy sector was flat while materials and utilities led the decline for 6 of the 10 main groups. IT, telecoms, industrials and consumer staples were the gainers. The overall index closed flat.

Wall Street’s three main indexes were also flat as investors await jobs data Friday which will almost certainly seal the deal for an interest rate rise. Europe closed mostly higher while Asian indexes were mostly lower.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index closed down 0.14 (0.00 per cent)
The Dow Jones closed up 2.46 (0.01 per cent)
Oil is trending lower (Brent $52.44, WTI $49.56 at 4.45pm)
Gold is trending lower (1200.30 at 4.45pm)
The loonie is valued at U$0.7403

NAFTA negotiations will include big changes
The renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement will contain some major changes when it is completed by late 2018.

US commerce secretary Wilbur Ross told Bloomberg that talks will begin late this year and will take about a year to complete. He also said that there will be significant changes, despite what President Trump has hinted at.

He said that Mexico and Canada know that “times are different” and that “they will have to make concessions” and said that he wants new chapters in the new NAFTA which will reflect changes such as the growth of the digital economy.

Scotia could sell Malaysian business unit
Bank of Nova Scotia could be about to sell its Malaysian business unit to Cathay Pacific Holdings.

Filings with the Taiwan Stock Exchange reveal that talks are underway for the sale of 100 per cent of the Bank of Nova Scotia Berhad unit. They are exclusive until the end of April.

Scotia is focusing its Asia-Pacific business on certain core markets and sectors on a cross-regional basis, resulting in the decision to divest the Malaysian unit after more than 4 decades in the country.