TORONTO—Canada’s main stock market closed slightly down on Tuesday, as declines in Health Care and Financial sectors outweighed gold prices reaching a five-month high.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s benchmark Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite inched down 3.68 points, or 0.02 percent to finish the day at 15,727.11 points. Half of the ten sub-groups closed the day in negative territory.
With geopolitical concerns arising from tension in North Korea, Syria and the upcoming French election, investors jumped on gold causing the spot price of the precious metal to jump 19.60 U.S. dollars 1,274.00 an ounce, its highest close since Nov. 9. The same weight of silver also shot up 39 cents to a five-week high of 18.32 U.S. dollars.
As a result, shares Toronto-based miners New Castle Gold Ltd. and New Gold Inc. saw the biggest percentage spikes, soaring 11.11 percent and 7.20 percent, each. Meanwhile, Vancouver-based B2Gold Corp. shares climbed 4.59 percent to 3.87 Canadian dollars (2.90 U.S. dollars) and were the second most traded with more than 9.75 million shares exchanged. Barrick Gold Corporation, the largest producer of gold in the world closed the session at 26.79 Canadian dollars (20.10 U.S. dollars), a 3.08 percent uplift.
The remaining groups to finish ahead were: Consumer Discretionary (0.16 percent), Utilities (0.12 percent), Telecommunications (0.06 percent), and Industrials (0.05 percent).
The TSX Industrials group finished slightly ahead despite Montreal-based Bombardier shares being the top traded stock during a session and finishing with a 6.76 percent gain. Shares of the plane and train maker soared after reports of their train division merging with Germany’ s Siemens AG. With more than 11.1 million shares exchanged, shares settled at 2.37 Canadian dollars (1.78 U.S. dollars), its highest end-of-day rate since March 3.
Dragging down the group was Montreal-based logistics company TFI International Inc. and rail company Canadian National, with respective declines of 3.00 percent and 0.81 percent.
The Health Care group was the biggest deterrent during Tuesday session with a 1.81 percent dip. One day after receiving a boost from the Federal government’ s plan to formally introduce a marijuana bill later this week, shares of medical marijuana distributors Aphria Inc and Canopy Growth Corporation plunged 7.39 percent and 5.34 percent, apiece.
Also slipping within the group were Quebec-based drugmakers ProMetic Life Sciences and Valeant Pharmaceuticals International with respective drops of 3.24 percent and 2.59 percent.
The remaining groups to lose ground on the day were: Financial (0.43 percent), Information Technology (0.35 percent), Energy (0.31 percent), and Consumer Staples (0.02 percent).
Energy closed lower despite a barrel of Brent crude oil for June delivery closing at 56.05 U.S. dollars a barrel, its highest since Mar. 1. Weighing down the sector was May natural gas futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange slipping 2.75 percent to 3.150 U.S. dollars per million British thermal units.
Calgary-based Cenovus Energy Inc shares fell 2.00 percent, while Crescent Point Energy Corp retreated 0.47 percent. Suncor Energy Inc, the largest producer of crude oil in the country, closed the session at 41.47 Canadian dollars (31.11 U.S. dollars), a 0.77 percent decline.
The Canadian dollar did not fluctuate on the day, remaining at 0.7501 U.S. dollars.