Canada's main stock market in Toronto ended flat on Thursday, as gains in the financial sector were offset by losses among gold and raw materials producers.
The Toronto Stock Exchange's benchmark Standard & Poor's/TSX Composite Index shed 3.06 points, or 0.02 percent, to close at 13,668.29 points. Six of the TSX index's eight main sub-sectors were fractionally higher.
Oil prices retreated Thursday ahead of a meeting among key crude producers this weekend. The West Texas Intermediate for May delivery moved down 26 cents to settle at 41.5 U.S. dollars a barrel, while Brent crude for June delivery decreased 34 cents to close at 43.84 dollars a barrel.
Canadian aerospace manufacturer Bombardier touched its highest point level since Nov. 6, up 6.99 percent at 1.53 Canadian dollars (1.19 U.S. dollars), on speculation of a potential Delta Air Lines Inc. order for its CSeries planes. Delta's CEO said it has not made a decision.
Among the most prominent players on the TSX index included fertilizer producers Agrium Inc, which fell 5.28 percent to 107.02 Canadian dollars, and Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc., down 2.43 percent to 20.86 Canadian dollars after several analysts downgraded their views on the stocks.
Pacific Exploration & Production Corp. said its board had agreed to negotiate a financial restructuring involving the Catalyst Capital Group Inc. and the company's creditors. Pacific shares dipped three cents, or 3.95 percent, to 0.73 Canadian dollar.
Canada's largest diversified resources company Teck Resources said water containing metals had spilled at its Trail smelting and refining plant in British Columbia on Wednesday, with some discharge possibly flowing into a nearby creek. Teck shares gained 2 cents to 10.95 Canadian dollars.
Investment banking and financial services company Canaccord Genuity raised the price target on Corus Entertainment to 11.00 Canadian dollars from 10.00 Canadian dollars. Corus shares lost 2 cents to 11.95 Canadian dollars.
Shaw Communications Inc., one of the leading pure-play connectivity providers in Canada, declined 3.17 percent to 23.54 Canadian dollars a share after reporting quarterly earnings.
On the economic slate, Statistics Canada reported its new housing price index rose 0.2 percent in February, following a 0.1 percent increase in January. The advance was led by higher new home prices in Ontario and British Columbia.
Meanwhile a new report said the cost of renting a condo in Greater Toronto Area climbed almost 7 percent in the first quarter of this year.
Toronto-based real estate consulting firm Urbanation attributes the increase partially to the fact that many would-be buyers are getting priced out of the home ownership market, pushing demand for rental units higher.
It is believed that strong economic fundamentals such as employment and population growth also contributed to higher rents.
After purpose-built construction starts increased to a 25-year high in 2015, applications for new rental developments surged by 40 percent in the first three months of the year, Urbanation said.
The Canadian dollar traded lower at 0.7783 U.S. dollar, compared with Wednesday's closing rate of 0.7803 U.S. dollar.