Equities in Canada's largest market fell Wednesday as crude prices dropped more than 2% on a weaker outlook for demand and a rise in U.S. crude inventories.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index fell 21.52 points short of breakeven to conclude Wednesday at 16,227.24
The Canadian dollar faded 0.32 cents to 74.97 cents U.S.
Gold shone brightest, as Kirkland Lake Gold sprinted $1.73, or 3.5%, to $51.93, and Sandstorm Gold popped 21 cents, or 3%, to $7.26.
Materials stocks fared next- best, Cascades $1.15, or 12.9%, to $10.08, while Canfor Corporation jumped 71 cents, or 7.6%, to $10.00
Quebecor proved the champion among communications stocks, gaining 61 cents, or 1.9%, to $32.37, while Cineplex advanced 42 cents, or 1.8%, to $23.78.
Among energy producers, Encana fell 46 cents, or 6.7%, to $6.36, while Precision Drilling toppled 19 cents, or 7.5%, to $2.22
In the financial field, Great West Life weakened 87 cents, or 2.8%, to $30.08, while Power Financial surrendered 72 cents, or 2.4%, to $29.53.
In the health-care field, HEXO skidded 26 cents, or 3%, to $8.53, while Bausch Health Companies docked 51 cents, or 1.7%, to $28.86.
The TSX Venture Exchange gained 2.33 points to finish Wednesday at 591.65
All but three of the 12 Toronto subgroups were positive on the day, as gold towered 2%, materials captured 1.2%, and communications strengthened 0.9%.
The three laggards proved to be energy, skidding 1.2%, financials, down 0.8%, and health-care, sinking 0.4%.
Stocks fell for a second day on Wednesday, pressured by declines in tech and bank shares, hitting the “pause” button on a sharp rally to start June.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average faltered 43.68 points to 26,004.83
The S&P 500 was down 5.88 points at 2,879.84.
The NASDAQ Composite slid 29.85 points to 7,792.72.
Chipmakers contributed to the decline. Lam Research lost 5.3%. Applied Materials, KLA-Tencor and Teradyne also fell. Semiconductor stocks were pressured after an Evercore ISI analyst said a recovery in the space will likely be pushed back to the second half of 2020.
Facebook shares dropped 1.7% after a Wall Street Journal report showed the company uncovered emails linking CEO Mark Zuckerberg to the company's privacy practices.
Bank shares fell along with Treasury yields. Citigroup dropped 1.6% while J.P. Morgan Chase gave back 1.3%, and Bank of America slid 1%.
Still, the major indexes were all up more than 4% for the month, rebounding from a sharp selloff in May as U.S.-Mexico trade worries were quelled while expectations for looser monetary policy increased.
Market focus remained largely attuned to global trade developments on Wednesday, after President Donald Trump said Tuesday that he was holding up a trade deal with China and had no interest in moving ahead unless Beijing agreed on as many as five “major points.” Trump did not specify these trade issues.
Washington and Beijing have imposed tariffs on billions of dollars' worth of one another's goods since the start of 2018, battering financial markets and souring business and consumer sentiment.
Wall Street also kept on economic data as investors increasingly price in a rate cut from the Federal Reserve. Market expectations for lower rates by July were at 85.3% on Wednesday. Low inflation, coupled with weak economic data, led to the possibility of lower Fed rates.
Consumer prices south of the border rose just 0.1% last month, matching estimates, the U.S. Labor Department said Wednesday. Core inflation, which strips out volatile components like food and energy prices, also rose 0.1%. The muted inflation numbers follow weaker-than-forecast employment and manufacturing data released last week.
Prices for the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury gained ground Wednesday, lowering yields to 2.12% from Tuesday's 2.15%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.
Oil prices sank $2.15 to $51.12 U.S. a barrel.
Gold prices gained $5.70 at $1,336.90 U.S. an ounce.