TSX hits two-week low as trade war threat weighs

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index slipped to a two-week low on Friday, ending the week with a 1.6 percent decline, as the threat of a global trade war weighed on energy and industrial shares.

FILE PHOTO: A sign board displaying Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) stock information is seen in Toronto June 23, 2014. REUTERS/Mark Blinch/File Photo

* The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index ended down 9.36 points, or 0.06 percent, at 15,384.59, its lowest close since Feb. 14.

* The energy group retreated 0.4 percent, with Suncor Energy down 2.1 percent at $40.85.

* U.S. crude oil settled 0.4 percent higher but posted its first weekly fall in three weeks on fears U.S. plans to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum could squeeze economic growth and jitters about rising U.S. crude production.

* U.S. President Donald Trump unveiled the tariffs on Thursday but did not make clear whether they would apply to Canada, which is the largest supplier of both steel and aluminum to the United States.

* Canada’s economy could also be impacted by talks with the United States and Mexico to revamp the North American Free Trade Agreement. Canada sends 75 percent of its exports to the United States.

* Shares of trade-sensitive auto parts and railroad companies added to Thursday’s declines. Magna International Inc fell 1.6 percent to C$67.60 and Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd retreated nearly 1 percent to C$224.75.

* The overall industrials group slipped 0.4 percent, while the financials group, which accounts for more than one-third of the weight of the TSX, declined 0.2 percent.

* The materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, added 0.2 percent.

* Gold futures rose 1.2 percent to $1,318.9 an ounce, boosted by investor demand for safer investments. [GOL/]

* The largest percentage gainer on the TSX was Sleep Country, which rose 15.4 percent after it reported fourth-quarter results after the close on Thursday.

* The TSX posted 4 new 52-week highs and 12 new lows, while five of the index’s 10 main groups ended lower.

Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by Nick Zieminski and Diane Craft