TSX pulls back from record high as energy tumbles

Wed Feb 22, 2017 5:44pm EST
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By Fergal Smith

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index fell the most in three weeks on Wednesday, pulling back from a record high set the day before as lower commodity prices pressured shares of energy and materials companies.

The energy group tumbled nearly 3 percent and the materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, lost 1.2 percent as crude oil and metal prices fell.

Investor expectations for Federal Reserve interest rate hikes have pressured commodities priced in U.S. dollars, said Youssef Zohny, portfolio manager at StennerZohny Investment Partners of Richardson GMP.

"We probably expect that trend to continue ... That may create a bit of a headwind for the energy and materials sectors," he added.

Many Fed policymakers said it may be appropriate to raise U.S. rates again "fairly soon" should jobs and inflation data come in line with expectations, according to the minutes of the central bank's last policy meeting released on Wednesday.

Gold futures GCc1 fell 0.4 percent to $1,232 an ounce and copper prices CMCU3 declined 0.3 percent to $6,039.85 a tonne.

U.S. crude CLc1 prices settled 74 cents lower at $53.59 a barrel on expectations of another surge in U.S. inventories.

Canadian Natural Resources Ltd (CNQ.TO: Quote) fell 4.2 percent to C$38.16, while the overall energy group has slumped 8.7 percent year to date as investors weigh prospects for a proposed U.S. border adjustment tax which could hamper the competitiveness of Canada's oil exports.   Continued...

A sign board displaying Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) stock information is seen in Toronto June 23, 2014.    REUTERS/Mark Blinch