TORONTO—Canada’s main stock market in Toronto fell back on Thursday as lower commodity prices weighed on resource stocks, while financial issues also fell as global shares dipped and investor appetite for risk weakened.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s benchmark Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index lost 81.02 points, or 0.61 percent, to close at 13, 266.44 points. Six of the TSX index’s eight main sub-sectors were lower.
Oil prices retreated Thursday amid profit-taking following sharp gains. The West Texas Intermediate for May delivery moved down 49 cents to settle at 37.26 dollars a barrel, while Brent crude for June delivery increased 41 cents to close at 39.43 dollars a barrel.
TSX metal & mining group was rattled by 8.58 percent, as First Quantum Minerals Ltd. went down 13.71 percent to 5.54 Canadian dollars (USD4.21) a share, Teck Resources Limited gave away 10.81 percent to 9.08 Canadian dollars, while Rubicon Minerals Corporation was off 10 percent to 0.045 Canadian dollar.
Energy was down 1.24 percent, as Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. declined 1.80 percent to 34.37 Canadian dollars, while Suncor Energy was down 0.95 percent at 35.39 Canadian dollars.
The most influential movers on the index included Toronto-Dominion Bank, which fell 1.40 percent to 54.16 Canadian dollars, and Manulife Financial, which declined 5.27 percent to 17.09 Canadian dollars. The financials was down 1.30 percent as a group.
Barrick Gold Corp rallied 4.54 percent to 19.11 Canadian dollars, while Kinross Gold was up 6.64 percent at 4.98 Canadian dollars.
The shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. continued to rise 4.31 percent to 46.70 Canadian dollars.
The company said its lenders had agreed to give it an extra month to file its annual report, providing further reassurance to investors as the company attempts to win back their confidence.
On the economic front, Statistics Canada reported building permits for February grew to 7.4 billion Canadian dollars in February, up 15.5 percent from January.
The agency says this growth followed a 9.5 percent decline the previous month and was largely the result of higher construction intentions for commercial buildings in Alberta, single-family dwellings in Ontario and institutional structures in Quebec.
Canada’s oil and gas sector is on track to have the biggest two-year decline in capital spending in its history, according to a forecast released by the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers.
The industry’s main association says spending on major projects is forecast to drop to 31 billion Canadian dollars in 2016.
That’s down 50 billion Canadian dollars or 62 percent since 2014, when the industry set a record of 81 billion Canadian dollars.
South of the border, Wednesday’s release of the Fed minutes confirmed that there is consensus to take a conservative approach to interest rate hikes and supported the view that there is a very little likelihood of a US interest rate hike before June.
“The major concern for the Fed seems to be the slowing global economy and the effect that will have on the U.S. economy,” said Michael J Smith, a Toronto currency expert at AFEX, a global non-bank provider of foreign currency services.
The Canadian dollar traded lower at 0.7608 US dollar, compared with Wednesday’s closing rate of 0.7637 US dollar.