TSX sees its weakest close in more than two years

Fri Dec 11, 2015 4:53pm EST
 
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By Fergal Smith

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index saw renewed selling pressure on Friday following a two-day respite, recording its weakest close in more than two years, including deep losses for financial and energy stocks as crude oil prices hit fresh lows.

The selling has been "self perpetuating," according to Barry Schwartz, vice president and portfolio manager at Baskin Financial Services, adding that "we have concerns about oil and high yield"

Oil prices extended their freefall, flirting with 11-year lows, after the International Energy Agency (IEA) warned that global oversupply of crude could worsen next year.

U.S. crude CLc1 prices settled at $35.62 a barrel, down 3.1 percent, while Brent crude LCOc1 lost 5.1 percent to $37.71.[O/R]

Energy stocks lost 3.3 percent, with Enbridge Inc (ENB.TO: Quote) down 4.5 percent at C$41.52 and Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO: Quote) down 3.2 percent at C$28.99.

The heavily weighted financial sector fell 1.7 percent, with Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO: Quote) falling 1.6 percent to C$72.99 and Manulife Financial Corp (MFC.TO: Quote) down 2.6 percent at C$20.47.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE fell 226.64 points, or 1.74 percent, to 12,789.95, with all 10 of the index's main groups in negative territory.

The index fell 4.3 percent over the week, moving back in sight of the intra-day low seen on Aug. 24 at 12,705.17.   Continued...

 
A man walks past an old Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) sign in Toronto, June 23, 2014.   REUTERS/Mark Blinch