September 30, 2014 / 1:23 PM / 3 years ago

TSX records biggest monthly drop since May 2012

A Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) logo is seen in Toronto November 9, 2007. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index posted its biggest monthly decline since May 2012 in September, losing about 4.3 percent, as a stronger U.S. dollar weighed on commodity prices and shares of natural resource companies.

The market was little changed on Tuesday as softness in the energy and materials sectors was offset by a gain in the financial sector.

Investors processed government data showing the Canadian economy did not expand in July, breaking a six-month streak of consecutive gains.

Further, geopolitical tensions in Hong Kong and the prospect of the U.S. Federal Reserve raising interest rates remained on the market’s radar.

“There seems to be some downward pressure. The mood has changed here,” said Ian Nakamoto, director of research at MacDougall, MacDougall & MacTier.

“People are starting to question whether the fundamentals are still intact,” he added.

Nakamoto said that it would take some time for the Canadian equity market “to heal itself.”

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed down 16.41 points, or 0.11 percent, at 14,960.51. Five of the 10 main sectors on the index were weaker.

The materials sector, which includes mining stocks, gave back 1 percent as the prices of gold, silver and copper traded lower. First Quantum Minerals Ltd (FM.TO) shed 0.5 percent to C$21.62, and Potash Corp (POT.TO) fell 0.5 percent to C$38.78.

A sharp selloff in the oil price took down energy shares. Canadian Natural Resources Ltd (CNQ.TO) slipped 1.2 percent to C$43.51.

Financials, the index’s most heavily weighted sector, rose 0.2 percent. Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) added 0.6 percent to C$80.05, and Toronto Dominion Bank (TD.TO) climbed 0.7 percent to C$55.27.

In corporate news, exchange operator TMX Group Ltd (X.TO) on Monday named Lou Eccleston as its new chief executive officer, to replace retiring CEO Tom Kloet. The stock was up 0.7 percent, at C$54.77.

Editing by Nick Zieminski and Lisa Shumaker

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