Energy, mining shares pull TSX lower in choppy trade

Thu Oct 2, 2014 4:58pm EDT
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By John Tilak

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.   Continued...

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