OTTAWA (dpa-AFX) - The Canadian stock market ended on a highly negative note on Tuesday amid mounting worries about the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, and another tumble by crude oil.
Despite falling crude oil and gold prices, losses posted by energy and materials shares were relatively less pronounced in the session, but heavy losses in information technology and financial sections weighed on the market and pushed its benchmark to a sharply lower close.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index, which opened with a big negative gap, ended down 448.22 points, or 3.12%, at 13,940.06.
Technology stocks Lightspeed Pos (LSPD.TO), Constellation Software (CSU.TO) and Shopify Inc. (SHOP.TO) lost 9.2%, 6.6% and 6.4%, respectively. Opex Text Corp (OTEX.TO), Descartes Systems Group (DSG.TO), Celestica Inc. (CLS.TO), Enghouse Systems (ENGH.TO) and BlackBerry (BB.TO) lost 4 to 6%.
In the financial space, Sun Life Financial (SLF.TO) and Manulife Financial Inc. (MFC.TO) both ended lower by about 5%. National Bank of Canada (NA.TO), Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO), Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO), Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO), CDN Western Bank (CWB.TO), Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO), Fairfax Financial Holdings (FFH.TO) and Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) declined by 3.5 to 4.5%.
From the healthcare section, Bausch Health Companies (BHC.TO), Sienna Senior Living (SIA.TO) and Extendicare (EXE.TO) lost 5 to 6%.
Consumer discretionary shares Linamar Corp (LNR.TO), Gildam Activewear (GIL.TO), Restaurant Brands International (QSR.TO) and Magna International (MG.TO) ended sharply lower.
Among energy shares, Parex Resources (PXT.TO), Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO), MEG Energy (MEG.TO) and Tourmaline Oil Corp (TOU.TO) lost 2 to 3.4%, while Crescent Point Energy (CPG.TO), Enerplus Corp (ERF.TO), Imperial Oil (IMO.TO) and Cenovus Energy (CVE.TO) closed with sharp to moderate gains.
In the materials space, Nutrien (NTR.TO) and Teck Resources (TECK.B.TO) lost 5.9% and 5.2%, respectively. Hudbay Minerals (HBM.TO), First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO) and Lundin Mining (LUN.TO) also declined sharply. B2Gold Corp (BTO.TO), Franco-Nevada Corp (FNV.TO) and Alacer Gold Corp (ASR.TO) closed on a firm note.
On the economic front, retail sales in Canada increased 0.3% over a month earlier in February 2020, easing from an upwardly revised 0.6% gain in the previous month. It was the fourth consecutive increase in retail trade. Sales increased 3% year-on-year in the month of February 2020, slowing from an upwardly revised 3.7% gain in the previous month.
U.S. stocks moved sharply lower over the course of the trading day on Tuesday, extending the pullback seen in the previous session, as continued concerns about yesterday's historic nosedive by crude oil prices weighed on the market amid worries about the impact on the already hard hit U.S. energy industry.
The major averages all posted steep losses on the day. The Dow tumbled 2.7%, the Nasdaq plunged 3.5% and the S&P 500 plummeted 3.1%.
Concerns about the ongoing coronavirus pandemic also generated some negative sentiment, with President Donald Trump revealing plans to suspend immigration in the U.S. as a result of the outbreak.
'In light of the attack from the Invisible Enemy, as well as the need to protect the jobs of our GREAT American Citizens, I will be signing an Executive Order to temporarily suspend immigration into the United States!' Trump said in a post on Twitter on Monday.
Markets across Europe and the Asia-Pacific region also ended sharply lower on Tuesday.
In commodities, West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for May expired at $10.01 a barrel, rising $47.64, or about 127% from Monday's close of -$37.63 a barrel. WTI crude oil futures for June contract settled with a loss of $8.66, or about 43%, at $11.57 a barrel today, recording the lowest close for most-active contracts in over 21 years.
Gold futures for June ended down $23.40, or about 1.4%, at $1,687.80 an ounce, the lowest close since April 8.
Silver futures for May ended down $0.738 at $14.876 an ounce, while Copper futures for May dropped $0.0384 to $2.2295 per pound.
Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
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