Business Report AFTER THE BELL: TSX sees modest gains, U.S./China trade uncertainty continues SHARE ON: Troy Landreville, staff Wednesday, Feb. 27th, 2019 While the heavyweight financials and energy sectors managed to move up today, it wasn’t enough to help Canada’s stock exchange achieve complete liftoff. Drops in six sectors, coupled with global trade uncertainty and underwhelming corporate results pinned the TSX down. Despite this, it was a fourth straight winning day for the TSX, which clawed six points higher at the close. The exchange also felt the weight from Laurentian Bank’s stock, which dropped 9.8 percent on news that it is slicing 10 percent of its workforce, or 350 employees, in the wake of a 32 percent drop in its first quarter profits. It was also a down day for National Bank, after its first quarter results fell short of analysts’ expectations. National Bank’s stock was down 0.6 percent today. Elsewhere, Statscan also reported today that inflation rose by just 1.4 percent in January, pulled lower by slipping gas prices. That’s down from a two percent increase in December. According to StatsCan, gas prices led the decline in consumer energy costs amid an oversupply in the United States, falling 14.2 percent year over year in January. Today’s inflation report suggests that the Bank of Canada will likely continue to take a cautious approach when it comes to future interest rate hikes. In New York, the Dow was off by 72 points while the Nasdaq saw modest gains, edging up five points as U.S./China trade drama continues. Comments from U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer cast a shadow on hopes of a trade deal between the world’s two largest economies. Lighthizer said a trade deal is not certain, and that “much still needs to be done both before an agreement is reached.” Oil prices were up $1.52 today to $57.02 US a barrel, with demand fueled by a reported plunge in U.S. crude stockpiles. The Canadian dollar was up by 6/100ths of a cent to $.07602 US while gold dropped another $6.90 to $1,321 an ounce.