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TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index fell in a volatile session on Thursday as weakness in oil prices weighed on energy shares and a drop in copper prices hit mining companies.
Fueled by a sharp selloff in oil prices earlier in the session, the resource-heavy index hit a four-month low before recovering some of those losses.
Stock markets around the world have been under pressure because of worries about the strength of the global economic recovery and news of the first confirmed case of Ebola in the United States. The Toronto stock market's benchmark index has fallen in nine of the last 10 sessions.
Geopolitical tensions and concerns about when the U.S. Federal Reserve will raise interest rates have also been a drag. Markets expect that the monthly U.S. payrolls report on Friday might provide some clues on the direction of Fed policy.
“People are starting to think about risk again,” said Marcus Xu, portfolio manager and president of M.Y. Capital Management Corp in Vancouver, who expects more selling pressure in the weeks ahead.
“I don't think this is it,” he added. “We think this correction is going to go a little longer and a little deeper.”
Despite the recent selloff, Xu expects the Canadian benchmark to outperform U.S. stocks this year.
The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed down 44.80 points, or 0.3 percent, at 14,760.64. Six of the 10 main sectors on the index were in the red.
Shares of oil and gas producers gave back 0.8 percent. Canadian Natural Resources Ltd CNQ.TO declined 0.6 percent to C$41.89, and Talisman Energy Inc TLM.TO shed 3.6 percent to C$9.09.
The group is down more than 16 percent since June.
The mining subsector dropped 1 percent, dragged lower by the fall in copper prices. First Quantum Minerals Ltd (FM.TO) lost 1.2 percent to C$21.11, and Teck Resources Ltd TCKb.TO was down 0.8 percent at C$20.57.
Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd (CP.TO) jumped 5.3 percent to C$234.70 after the company said on Wednesday it planned to raise annual revenue to C$10 billion by 2018.
Editing by Peter Galloway