TORONTO—Canada’s main stock market in Toronto experienced a triple-digit loss on Wednesday, as energy stocks tumbled after crude oil prices fell to a three-month low.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s benchmark Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite dipped 111.80 points, or 0.72 percent, to close the trading day at 15,496.98 points. Eight of the 10 sub-groups finished the session in negative territory.
Crude oil prices saw a sharp decline after the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported a weekly increase of 8.2 million barrels, significantly higher than the market’s expectation of a two million increase. As a result, a barrel of Brent crude for May delivery fell 4.85 percent to settle at USD53.18, its lowest point end-of-day rate since December 7.
As a result, the TSX Energy group was hit the hardest on the day, retreating 3.96 percent. Calgary-based energy firms were hit the hardest, with Baytex Energy Corp. dipping 8.17 percent to 4.61 Canadian dollars (USD3.42) and MEG Energy Corp. slipping 7.50 percent 6.78 Canadian dollars (USD5.02). Also contributing to the group’s demise was Encana Corporation and Suncor Energy Inc., with losses of 5.84 percent and 3.99 percent, apiece.
Other sector to finish the day lower included: Telecommunication (0.64 percent), Industrials (0.64 percent), Utilities (0.29 percent), Information Technology (0.19 percent), Financials (0.17 percent), Consumer Discretionary (0.06 percent), and Materials (0.06 percent).
Industrials retreated as shares of Montreal-based plane and train maker Bombardier Inc. were the most actively traded stock on the day with a volume in excess of 20.4 million. The stock price settled at 2.10 Canadian dollars (USD1.56), a 5.83 percent setback.
The TSX IT group snapped a run of six consecutive days of gains. Contributing to the result was Toronto-base DH Corporation, who reported fourth quarter net income that fell short of the same period last year. Shares of the Financial Technology firm declined 5.10 percent to 23.28 Canadian dollars (USD17.25). Also losing ground on the day was Waterloo-based Blackberry Limited, dipping 1.10 percent to close at 9.00 Canadian dollars (USD6.67).
The lone groups to finish higher on the day were Consumer Staples and Health Care, with respective gains of 0.54 percent and 0.14 percent.
The Consumer Staples group, which is comprised of firms that produce, distribute or sell essential products were aided by two of the country’ s largest supermarket chains. Montreal-based Metro Inc. shares jumped 1.37 percent to finish at 40.00 Canadian dollars (USD29.64), while Toronto-based Loblaws Companies Limited saw shares tick up 0.40 percent to 70.66 Canadian dollars (USD52.37).
On the economic front, Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation reported that annualized housing starts in February increased 0.61 percent to 210,207, a fourth consecutive month of increases.
The Canadian dollar slumped 0.43 to finish the session at 0.7411 U.S. dollars.