Resource stocks tumble, taking TSX down 2 percent

Tue Sep 22, 2015 4:35pm EDT
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By Alastair Sharp

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index tumbled more than 2 percent on Tuesday as a sell-off in commodities walloped resource stocks, leading across-the-board declines in volatile trade.

The fall followed roughly 1 percent gains on both Monday and Friday after the Federal Reserve held U.S. interest rates steady last week and as investors continued to fret about Chinese economic growth.

"This sort of activity is like a waltz, you're going back and forth," said Irwin Michael, portfolio manager at ABC Funds.

"It's a no-bid market. There are not many buyers out there," he said. "It's volatile, but it's a tug of war."

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE ended the session down 288.35 points, or 2.09 percent, at 13,491.09. All 10 of its main sectors fell.

Gold, copper and U.S. crude oil prices fell, hit by a stronger U.S. dollar and persistent demand worries, particularly out of top resource consumer China. The declines sent the Toronto index's materials group, home to mining stocks, plunging 4.4 percent.

Potash Corp (POT.TO: Quote) lost 6.5 percent to C$29.34, while Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO: Quote) fell 7.2 percent to C$8.09.

The most influential mover was Valeant Pharmaceuticals International (VRX.TO: Quote), a large weight and an erratic stock, which lost 5.4 percent to C$287.17.   Continued...

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