The Canadian market recorded a fresh all-time high in early trades on Friday, faltered subsequently, and lost its way again after a mild recovery to eventually closed marginally down in negative territory.
Optimism about U.S. and China signing a phase one trade deal early January aided sentiment at the start.
But investors, back in the market after Christmas and Boxing Day holidays, appeared a bit keen on taking some profits, due to a lack of triggers.
Cannabis shares suffered sharp losses, contributing to market’s weak close. Materials shares turned weak after showing some strength early on in the session. Industrial, consumer discretionary, energy and financial shares turned in a mixed performance, while a few stocks from information technology section scored strong gains.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index ended down 11.94 points, or 0.07%, at 17,168.21, after rising to a high of 17,230.58, a fresh record.
Hexo Corp. (HEXO.TO) shares plunged 18.3% after the company said it has raised $25 million by diluting the value of its existing shares through a direct offering.
Aurora Cannabis (ACB.TO), Canopy Growth Corp (WEED.TO) and Cronos Group (CRON.TO) lost 4 to 4.6%, while Aphria Inc. (APHA.TO) declined 2.6%.
Among the stocks in the materials space, Torex Gold Resources (TXG.TO), Silvercorp Metals (SVM.TO), Canfor Corp (CFP.TO), Eldorado Gold (ELD.TO), Nutrien (NTR.TO) and Methanex Corp (MX.TO) lost 1 to 3%, while Yamana Gold (YRI.TO), Norbord (OSB.TO), Novagold (NG.TO) and West Fraser Timber (WFT.TO) ended on a firm note.
Parex Resources (PXT.TO), Crescent Point Energy (CPG.TO), Encana Corp (ECA.TO) and Seven Generations Energy (VII.TO) were among the gainers in the energy space.
TC Energy Corp (TRP.TO) ended modestly higher. The company announced on Thursday that it has entered into an agreement to sell a 65% equity interest in the Coastal GasLink Pipeline Project to KKR and Alberta Investment Management Corporation on behalf of certain AIMCo clients.
Information technology stock Photon Control (PHO.TO) climbed more than 10%. Shopify Inc. (SHOP.TO) gained about 1.8% and Blackberry (BB.To) ended up 0.85%.
On Wall Street, stocks showed a lack of direction throughout the trading session on Friday as traders mostly stayed away from their desks following Christmas. The major averages ended the session mixed.
While the Dow and the S&P 500 crept up to new record closing highs, the Nasdaq edged down 0.2%. The Dow edged up 0.1%, while the S&P 500 ended little changed.
Asian markets ended mixed, while European markets ended modestly higher.
In commodities, West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures for February ended up $0.04 at $$61.72 a barrel, the highest settlement price in about 3-1/2 months.
Gold futures for February ended up $3.70, or about 0.2%, at $1,518.10, the highest close in about 3 months.
Silver futures for March ended down $0.047 at $17.943 an ounce, while Copper futures for March settled lower by $0.0195 at $2.8295 per pound.