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At the open: TSX flat as energy, banks offset by materials, industrials

A man walks past an old Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) sign in Toronto, June 23, 2014.

Mark Blinch/Reuters

Canada's main stock index was little changed shortly after the open on Wednesday as gains in the financial and energy sectors were offset by broader losses led by mining and industrial firms.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index fell 3.58 points, or 0.02 per cent, to 15,139.83.

The Canadian dollar edged higher on Wednesday against its U.S. counterpart as oil prices rose and after Canada's finance minister indicated he could live with a more robust currency.

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Finance Minister Bill Morneau told Reuters in an interview late on Tuesday that the recent rise of the currency reflected the country's economic strengths.

The Canadian dollar has rallied more than 13 percent against the U.S. greenback since early May and touched its strongest in more than two years on Friday.

Prices of oil, one of Canada's major exports, rose after the International Energy Agency (IEA) said the global oil surplus was starting to shrink due to robust demand and an output drop from major producers.

U.S. crude prices were up 0.87 per cent at $48.65 a barrel.

The Canadian dollar was trading at $1.2157 to the greenback, or 82.26 U.S. cents, up 0.2 per cent.

The currency traded in a range of $1.2131 to $1.2186.

Wall Street opened lower on Wednesday, after a two-day rally, weighed down by a drop in Apple and as North Korea showed a trademark defiance over new U.N. sanctions.

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 15.87 points, or 0.07 per cent, to 22,102.99. The S&P 500 lost 3.44 points, or 0.14 per cent, to 2,493.04. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 13.55 points, or 0.21 per cent, to 6,440.74.

Apple's shares fell 1 per cent in early trading after the highly-anticipated iPhone X was launched with a pricey $999 tag and a Nov. 3 shipping date that raised questions about supply constraints ahead of the holiday season.

The stock ended lower after a volatile session on Tuesday. But, the drag by Apple was more than offset by a rise in bank stock, helping the three major Wall Street indexes close at record highs.

Wall Street has been eking out record highs for most of this year, recovering from periodic setbacks caused by turmoil in Washington, questions over U.S. interest rate hikes and doubts about the Trump administration to push through its pro-business reforms, and lately, tensions over North Korea.

"The slight weakness we're seeing this morning is after a two-day rally. The fundamentals and technicals, however remain strong," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at First Standard Financial in New York.

"There are concerns over the bull run, which is on several hope factors. But the list of worries is still there, geopolitical problems are far from solved and perhaps maybe tax reform not happening until 2018 - that would dampen the prospect of a stronger stock market."

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North Korea continued to keep the market on edge, after vowing to redouble efforts to fight off what it said was the threat of a U.S. invasion. The simmering tensions pushed gold prices higher.

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