CANADA STOCKS-TSX slips on U.S. trade worries; Home Capital slumps

(New throughout, updates prices and market activity, adds
portfolio manager comment, details on White House draft order on

* TSX closes down 95.65 points, or 0.61 percent, at

* Five of the TSX’s 10 main groups end higher

* Home Capital falls nearly 65 percent to C$5.99

By Fergal Smith

TORONTO, April 26 Canada’s main stock index
pulled back on Wednesday from a 2-month high the day before,
pressured by a plunge in the shares of Home Capital Group Inc
and investor worries about Canada’s trade relationship
with the United States.

The White House is considering a draft executive order to
withdraw the United States from the North American Free Trade
Agreement, a trade pact with Canada and Mexico, a senior Trump
administration official said.

“I think they’re (investors) being a little cautious about
Mr Trump and maybe what he is going to do to Canada,” said John
Kinsey, portfolio manager at Caldwell Securities.

U.S. President Donald Trump has recently ramped up criticism
of Canada, saying last week that Ottawa’s protection of its
dairy industry was “unfair.” This week he ordered 20 percent
tariffs on imports of Canadian softwood lumber.

Home Capital plunged nearly 65.0 percent to C$5.99 after the
alternative lender said it would secure a C$2 billion (credit
line to shore up its shrinking balance sheet.

The overall financials group declined 1.3 percent even as
the Trump administration proposed slashing business taxes, which
could provide a boost to some Canadian banks that have
operations in the United States.

Toronto-Dominion Bank fell 1.5 percent to C$65.77.

Other influential decliners included Burger King and Tim
Horton parent Restaurant Brands International, which
fell 2.9 percent to C$77.02 despite reporting profit and revenue
that beat expectations.

The energy group retreated 1.1 percent even as oil prices
rebounded from early losses after U.S. government data showed a
larger-than-expected falloff in crude inventories.

U.S. crude oil prices settled 6 cents higher at $49.62 a

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index
closed down 95.65 points, or 0.61 percent, at
15,649.54. Five of its 10 main groups ended lower.

Shares of BCE Inc advanced 1.7 percent to C$62.70
after Canada’s largest telecommunications company reported a
better-than-expected quarterly profit, driven by an increase in
net postpaid subscribers.

Teck Resources Ltd advanced 0.5 percent to
C$28.97 after it said it will double its dividend payout.

Canadian retail sales fell more than expected in February,
dragged down by lower vehicle purchases and cheaper prices for
gasoline at the pump, but the decline did not alter expectations
for strong economic growth in the first quarter.
(Additional reporting by Alastair Sharp; Editing by Nick
Zieminski and David Gregorio)

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