Equities in Toronto opened lower on Wednesday as oil prices hovered at six-month lows on recession concerns, while investors awaited the minutes of the U.S. Federal Reserve's July policy meet.
The TSX dropped 99.79 points to start Wednesday at 20,170.18.
The Canadian dollar shed 0.45 to 77.40 cents U.S.
National Bank of Canada raised the price target on Alimentation Couche-Tard to $63.00 from $59.00. Alimentation Couche-Tard lost 11 cents to $60.01
National Bank also cut the rating on Trevali Mining underperform from sector perform. Trevali docked two cents, or 9.3%, to 20 cents.
On the economic front, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation said Wednesday the seasonally-adjusted annual rate of housing starts was 275,329 units, an increase of 1.1% from June.
The TSX Venture Exchange retreated 4.22 points to 665.35.
Eight of the 12 TSX subgroups were lower in the first hour, with real-estate tailing off 3.3%, while information technology and gold stocks docked 1.7% each.
The four gainers were co-led by energy and utilities, each up 0.5%, and consumer staples, ahead 0.2%.
Stocks fell on Wednesday as the rally on Wall Street that has propelled equity prices higher since mid-June appeared to lose steam amid a fresh batch of retail earnings.
The Dow Jones Industrials slumped 175.65 points to open the mid-week session at 33,976.36.
The S&P 500 fell 31.58 points to 4,273.63.
The NASDAQ Composite ditched 159.32 points, or 1.2%, to 12,943.23.
Traders continued to comb through corporate earnings from the retail sector that kicked off with Walmart and Home Depot on Tuesday.
Target shares slipped after the retailer posted earnings that widely missed expectations as it grapples with excess inventory, while Lowe’s traded higher despite a mixed quarter.
Meanwhile, data released by the Census Bureau on Wednesday showed retail sales remain unchanged in July amid declines in auto sales and gasoline prices, although consumers did increase spending online.
Wall Street also looked ahead to the release of minutes from the Fed’s most recent meeting, which could offer further insight into what could come at the central bank’s next meeting in September.
Further uncertainty remains in the market as the Federal Reserve plans to continue raising rates and shrinking the size of its balance sheet.
Treasury prices were down, raising yields to 2.89% from Tuesday’s 2.81%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite direction.
Oil prices recovered 72 cents to $87.25 U.S. a barrel.
Gold prices fell $7.60 to $1,782.10 U.S. an ounce.