TSX slumps 2 percent as oil price weakness, U.S. data weighs

Fri Jan 15, 2016 5:21pm EST
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By Alastair Sharp

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index fell more than 2 percent on Friday as a further slide in crude oil prices weighed heavily on energy shares, while jitters about domestic and global economic growth hit banks and industrial and consumer names.

The index dropped 3 percent for the week, its third straight weekly loss of more than 2.2 percent. It is at its weakest level since mid-2013 as a gloomy outlook sparks an investor retreat.

"A lot of that is some of the stress coming out of China, but I also think more and more people are questioning U.S. growth," said Michael Greenberg, a portfolio manager for Franklin Templeton Solutions.

U.S. retail sales fell in December as unseasonably warm weather curbed purchases of winter apparel and cheaper gasoline weighed on receipts at service stations.

U.S. producer prices were also lower last month due to weak energy costs, while the country's industrial output declined for a third straight month.

Crude prices settled below $30 a barrel for the first time in 12 years as traders braced for an imminent rise in Iran's exports. [O/R]

The most influential weights on the Canadian index included some of its biggest energy stocks, with Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO: Quote) losing 5.6 percent to C$24.44 and Suncor Energy Inc (SU.TO: Quote) down 3.6 percent to C$31.22.

The country's two biggest banks both fell 3.6 percent, with Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO: Quote) at C$67.05 and Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO: Quote) at C$49.45.   Continued...

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