TORONTO—Canada’s main market began the month of May with a marginal decrease on Monday, as declines in Materials and Energy stocks offset gains in the Information Technology and sector.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s benchmark Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite ticked down 10.50 points, or 0.07 percent to finish the day at 15,575.63 points. Four of the 10 sub-groups closed the session lower.
The Material TSX Materials group, which consists of producers of gold, precious metals, and raw materials, was the biggest drag during the day, slipping 1.35 percent after the spot prices of gold and silver tumbled.
The spot price of an ounce of gold fell 0.92 percent to USD1,256.10, while the same weight of silver dipped 1.92 percent to USD16.83.
Vancouver-based gold miner B2Gold Corp shares slid 4.08 percent to 3.29 Canadian dollars (USD2.41). Shares of Yamana Gold Inc and Kinross Gold Corporation also lost ground, dropping 2.72 percent and 2.32 percent, respectively.
Silver miners were hit even harder, as MAG Silver Corp, Tahoe Resources Inc., and Fortuna Silver Mines Inc. slumped 4.25 percent, 4.07 percent, and 3.35 percent, apiece.
The remaining groups to close lower were: Telecommunications (0.49 percent), Consumer Staples (0.20 percent), and Energy (0.19 percent).
The energy sector dipped as the both crude oil and natural gas started the week lower. A barrel of Brent for July delivery retreated 0.77 percent to USD51.45, while June natural gas futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange dipped 1.65 percent to USD3.215 per million British thermal units.
Shares of Calgary-based Baytex Energy Corp and Crescent Point Energy Corp gave back gains from last Friday with respective losses of 3.39 percent and 2.81 percent.
Meanwhile, oil firm Pembina Pipeline Corporation shares fell 3.33 percent to 42.05 Canadian dollars (USD30.78) after announcing a merger with rival Veresen Inc. in a 9.7 billion Canadian dollars (about USD7.1 billion) deal.
Veresen shares were the top-traded during the session with volume in excess of 16.6 million, soaring 19.04 percent to 18.13 Canadian dollars (USD13.27) a share.
Information Technology and Health Care groups were among the top gainers on the day, jumping 1.41 percent and 1.05 percent, each.
The TSX IT group received a boost from Toronto-based Constellation Software Inc. two days after posting strong first quarter earnings. Shares of the software firm rose 4.04 percent to 649.57 Canadian dollars (USD475.55). Ottawa-based Kinaxis Inc. and Wi-LAN Inc. also gained, advancing 2.74 percent and 2.19 percent, respectively.
The remaining groups to finish the session in positive territory were: Consumer Discretionary (0.48 percent), Industrials (0.39 percent), Utilities (0.02 percent), and Financial (0.01 percent).
Financial stocks finished marginally lower on Monday despite mortgage lending firm Home Capital Group Inc. shares plunging 13.43 percent to 6.96 Canadian dollars (USD5.10) after the company reported that high interest savings account deposits fell 24.95 percent over the last three days to 391 million Canadian dollars. Over the last week, shares of the Toronto-based firm are down a staggering 60.29 percent.
Aiding the group were Canada’s two largest insurance firms. Shares of Manulife Financial Corporation jumped 0.67 percent, while Sun Life Financial Inc. saw shares ascend 0.62 percent.
The Canadian dollar faded 0.05 cent to USD0.7321.