CANADA STOCKS-TSX slips as energy, miners fall on lower commodity prices

(Updated at 9:50 a.m. ET)

By Ankika Biswas

June 19 (Reuters) – Canada’s benchmark index was subdued in thin trade on Monday, with mining and energy stocks falling on declines in commodity prices, while investors awaited key domestic economic data and U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s testimony this week.

At 9:50 a.m. ET (1350 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was down 31.43 points, or 0.16%, at 19,943.94.

Materials slipped 0.4% tracking lower metals prices, while energy shed 0.2% as crude oil prices fell on questions over China’s economy.

On the data front, producer prices in Canada fell by 1% in May from April on lower prices for refined petroleum energy and primary non-ferrous metal products.

Investors will widely parse Canada’s retail sales data for April, due on Wednesday, for clues on the monetary policy path, with the Bank of Canada expected to raise interest rates again in July.

“The Bank of Canada wants to see retail sales dip,” said Allan Small, senior investment advisor of the Allan Small Financial Group with iA Private Wealth.

“I don’t know if they want to see it disappear totally, but there’s that fine line again that we always talk about between slow down and not going into recession.”

Powell’s semi-annual monetary policy testimony later this week will be another trigger after the U.S. central bank halted its rate-hiking cycle but projected more increases this year.

The U.S. markets were shut for a public holiday on Monday.

Investors also kept an eye on talks between China and the U.S. that agreed to try and stabilize their intense rivalry, but did not announce any major breakthroughs during U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s rare visit to Beijing.

Among individual movers, Celestica Inc gained 1.1% after TD Cowen raised its target price on the electronics companies’ stock.

(Reporting by Ankika Biswas in Bengaluru Editing by Marguerita Choy)