TORONTO–Canada’s main stock market closed lower for a second straight day on Wednesday, as crude oil suffering its worst decline in six weeks and dips in mining stocks outpaced gains in Health Care and Telecommunications sectors.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s benchmark Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite slipped 69.69 points, or 0.45 percent to close the session at 15,552.88 points. Six of the ten sub-groups finished the day in negative territory.
For a second straight day, the energy sector had one of the biggest drops, falling 1.51 percent after the price of Brent crude oil suffered a 3.67 percent decline, the largest since Mar. 8 when it dipped 4.85 percent. As a result of the dip, shares of Calgary-based energy firm Baytex Energy Corp was hit the hardest, sinking 5.00 percent to 4.18 Canadian dollars (3.10 U.S. dollars). Shares of Encana Corporation and Cenovus Energy Inc also tumbled, falling 3.31 percent and 2.56 percent, respectively.
The TSX Materials group, which is made up of producers of gold, precious metals, and raw materials, closed lower after the spot price of gold retreated from its five-month high to finish at 1,280.30 U.S. dollars an ounce, a 0.69 percent decline. Gold Miners Yamana Gold Inc and IAMGOLD were hit the hardest, sliding 5.70 percent and 4.67 percent, apiece.
Meanwhile, Barrick Gold Corporation, the largest gold miner in the world saw shares dwindle 3.38 percent to 25.48 Canadian dollars (18.90 U.S. dollars) after negotiations to sell half of an Australian fine to Chinese miner Shandong Tyan Home Co Ltd ended without reaching a deal.
The remaining groups to close the trading day in the red were: Consumer Staples (0.80 percent), Utilities (0.73 percent), Financial (0.15 percent), and Industrials (0.04 percent).
The Consumer Staples group, which is made up of firms in the food industry took a step back after U.S. President Donald Trump called Canada’ s dairy trade ‘very, very unfair’ in front of farmers in Wisconsin. As a result, shares of Saputo Inc, a Quebec-based dairy firm, dipped 3.00 percent to 44.64 Canadian dollars (33.11 U.S. dollars).
Also making news within the group was grocery and pharmacy retailer Loblaw Companies Limited selling all of its 213 retail gas stations in the country to a Canadian asset management firm for 540 million Canadian dollars (about 400 million U.S. dollars). Shares of Loblaws faded 0.58 percent to close the session at 72.50 Canadian dollars (53.78 U.S. dollars).
Not all groups ended the day lower, as four groups closed ahead. Health Care and Information Technology led the charge with gains of 0.80 percent and 0.68 percent, apiece. Rounding out the list were Consumer Discretionary and Telecommunications with respective advances of 0.55 percent and 0.39 percent.
The Health Care group ended a run of five straight losing sessions after shares of medical marijuana distributor Canopy Growth Corporation soared 5.89 percent to 10.24 Canadian dollars (7.60 U.S. dollars).
The TSX Telecommunications received a lift when Rogers Communications Inc, the largest wireless communications firm in the country saw shares jump 1.53 percent to 62.36 Canadian dollars (46.26 U.S. dollars) after posting strong first quarter financials.
The Toronto-based firm reported after markets closed on Tuesday that consolidated revenues across its five divisions in the first three months of the year was 3.34 billion Canadian dollars, a 2.87 percent increase compared to the same period in 2016. By division, the wireless group stood out with revenues of 813 million Canadian dollars, 6.55 percent higher than the first quarter of last year.
The Canadian dollar slipped 0.55 cents to close at a five-week low of 0.7418 U.S. dollars.