Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank
Toronto - XINHUA
Toronto Stock Exchange, Canada's main stock market, on Thursday closed flat as the European Central Bank (ECB) moved to cut interest rates to boost the weak economic recovery of euro zone.
Toronto Stock Exchange's benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index eked out a gain of 3.39 points or 0.02 percent to close at 14,800.18 points as half of the eight most weighed sectors lost ground.
The index was weighed in the midday trading after ECB announced that it would cut its lending rate to 0.15 percent from 0.25 percent, and the bank is also reducing its overnight deposit rate to minus 0.1 percent from zero. Investors were also focusing on the ECB's unexpected measure that charges banks for parking funds with it with the aim of forcing banks to lend money.
Bank and resources companies, the heavily-weighted shares in TSX, weakened over the ECB's move.
The financial shares lost 0.17 percent with giant banks in the red. Royal Bank of Canada settled at 74.57 Canadian dollars (about 68.60 U.S. dollars), down 0.44 percent, while Toronto-Dominion Bank fell to 54.53 Canadian dollars by 0.31 percent. Bank of Nova Scotia also declined 0.45 percent to 70.18 Canadian dollars.
The mining sector was down 0.24 percent as the copper producer First Quantum Minerals Ltd. plunged 1.04 percent to 21.9 Canadian dollars a share. However, the leading companies of gold shares advanced as Barrick added 0.92 percent to 17.56 Canadian dollars and Detour Gold Corp. jumped 7.89 percent to 11.35 Canadian dollars per share, driven by a rally in the gold prices.
The advancers were led by the industrial sector. Canada's biggest airline Air Canada soared 4.42 percent to 9.93 Canadian dollars and Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. moved up 1.68 percent to 193.93 Canadian dollars.
The info-tech sector added 0.51 percent with Constellation Software Inc. up 0.4 percent to 247 Canadian dollars. And the real estate shares strengthened, with Canadian Real Estate Investment Trust gaining 0.79 percent to 46.05 Canadian dollars as Statistics Canada reported Thursday that building permits issued rose 1.1 percent, to be worth 6 billion Canadian dollars in April, after two straight monthly declines.
On the currency front, the Canadian dollar Thursday closed higher to 0.9150 U.S. dollar from 0.9142 U.S. dollar on last trading day.