(RTTNews) – Canadian stocks saw modest strength for much of the trading session on Thursday before coming under pressure going into the close.
The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index pulled back well off its early highs, ending the session down 50.01 points or 0.2 percent at 21,294.64 after reaching a high of 21,433.85.
The late-day pullback may partly have reflected profit taking after the S&P/TSX Composite Index reached its best intraday level in over a month.
Stocks initially benefited from recent upward momentum, which has helped stocks largely offset the pullback seen in reaction to initial reports about the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.
With early indications that the Omicron variant causes milder symptoms, traders seem optimistic the new strain will not detail the economic recovery.
Trading activity remained somewhat subdued, however, as some traders looked to get a head start on New Year’s festivities.
Energy stocks came under pressure over the course of the session, dragging the S&P/TSX Capped Energy Index down by 1 percent.
The weakness in the sector came amid a steep drop by the price of natural gas, with natural gas for February delivery plunging $0.289 or 7.5 percent to $3.561 per million BTUs.
On the other hand, gold stocks showed a notable move to the upside, driving the S&P/TSX Global Gold Index up by 1.3 percent.
Gold stocks moved higher along with the price of the precious metal, as gold for February delivery climbed $8.30 or 0.5 percent to $1,814.10 an ounce after falling as low as $1,796.20 an ounce.