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AFTER THE BELL: Pipeline, trade worries pull down markets, loonie loses half a cent

Pipeline problems and trade tensions weighed North American markets today.

The massive Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion was put in limbo after the federal court quashed the government’s approval to build the $7.4 billion project.

Following the announcement, Kinder Morgan shareholders voted 99 percent in favour of selling the project to the Canadian government.

The pipeline decision factored into a flat day on Bay Street with the TSX slipping 18 points, offsetting a report from StatsCan that noted growth in the Canadian economy.

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Losses were broad-based with nine of the index’s 11 major sectors in the red. Energy stocks fell more than half a percent despite a rise in oil prices.

Oil inched 64 cents higher to $70.15 US a barrel on concerns over supply disruptions from Iran and Venezuela, and worries of a U.S. domestic shortage.

On Wall Street, the Dow plunged 137 points, snapping a four-day win streak.

Pulling the index down was Friday’s deadline on a Canada/U.S. trade deal looming, and the threat of America slapping another $200 billion worth of tariffs on Chinese goods as early as next week.

And the Nasdaq finished 21 points lower, even with gains in Facebook and Apple.

Gold dropped $5.10 to $1,201 an ounce against a strengthening greenback, while the loonie lost nearly half a cent, slipping to $0.7703 US.

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