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Canada's main stock index fell on Wednesday, dragged by rate-sensitive real-estate and technology stocks, while investors awaited key domestic economic data and inflation figures from the United States later this week.

The TSX Composite was 14.32 points below breakeven, at 21,304.58.

The Canadian dollar fell 0.22 cents to 73.67 cents U.S.

National Bank of Canada gained $3.61, or 3.5%, to $107.28, keeping the financials afloat, following a higher first-quarter profit. Royal Bank of Canada edged up 85 cents to $132.07. after beating profit estimates for the first quarter.

On the economic slate, payroll numbers came out from Statistics Canada. They showed employees receiving pay and benefits from their employer—measured as "payroll employment" in the Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours—increased in number by 31,600 in December. Yearly, payroll employment jumped 223,500.


The TSX Venture Exchange eked up 1.78 points to 557.50.

All but three of the 12 subgroups were down, with communications sliding 0.7%, consumer staples off 0.6%, and real-estate 0.4% to the bad.

The three gainers proved to be consumer discretionary stocks, up 0.3%, financials, better by 0.2%, and energy, up 0.1%.


Stocks ticked lower Wednesday as investors looked ahead to a key inflation report due later this week.

The Dow Jones Industrials remained negative 81.09 points at noon EST Wednesday at 38,891.32, marking its third consecutive day of losses.

The S&P 500 dropped 9.33 points to 5,068.85.

The NASDAQ index slid 64.59 points to 15,970.71.

UnitedHealth lost more than 4% to lead the Dow lower. Intel and Alphabet declined 1.3% and 2%, respectively. Elsewhere, Urban Outfitters fell nearly 15% after reporting weaker-than-expected results for the fourth quarter.

Investors are looking toward the personal consumption expenditure reading for January on Thursday, which is the Federal Reserve’s preferred measure of inflation.

The report will come as the market tries to build on the gains that took the Dow and S&P 500 to record highs. This week, the market has struggled, however, pulling back slightly.

Prices for the 10-year Treasury inched forward, lowering yields to 4.29% from Tuesday’s 4.31%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices faded six cents to $78.80 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices dropped 60 cents to $2,043.50.