March 23, 2016 / 11:28 AM / in 2 years

TSX falls to one-week low as commodity prices weigh

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index fell on Wednesday to a one-week low as lower commodity prices pressured energy and mining stocks, while insider trading charges sank the shares of Amaya Inc AYA.TO.

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

The energy group fell 3.1 percent, while the materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, tumbled 4.6 percent.

Spot gold XAU= fell more than 2 percent to a four-week low after hawkish comments by U.S. Federal Reserve officials. [GOL/]

“The capital that had gone into safe havens yesterday has come back out today,” said Colin Cieszynski, senior market analyst at CMC Markets Canada.

The most influential shares on the Canadian index included Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO), which fell 7.2 percent to C$17.54.

First Quantum Minerals Ltd (FM.TO) fell 16.3 percent to C$6.92 and Teck Resources Ltd TCKb.TO dropped 13.4 percent to C$9.65, as copper and other metal prices moved lower. [MET/L]

U.S. crude CLc1 prices fell more than 4 percent after U.S. stockpiles soared to record highs for a sixth straight week, triple analysts’ expectations. [O/R]

Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) fell 3.5 percent to C$34.77, while Suncor Energy Inc (SU.TO) was down nearly 2 percent at C$35.57.

Shares of gambling website operator Amaya plunged more than 20 percent to C$14.75 after its chief executive was charged with insider trading by Quebec’s securities regulator.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed down 114.01 points, or 0.8 percent, at 13,379.48. It touched its lowest since March 15 at 13,364.98.

Seven of the index’s 10 main groups ended lower.

Talks between planemaker Bombardier Inc (BBDb.TO) and the Canadian government about financial support are “going well,” a company executive said.

Nonetheless, the company’s shares fell 5 percent to C$1.32.

Among the sectors that advanced, consumer staples rose 1 percent, including a 3 percent gain in the shares of Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc (ATDb.TO) to C$57.53, while telecom advanced 0.5 percent.

“You’re seeing a bit of a defensive rotation in Canada, with the resource sectors getting hammered,” said Cieszynski.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc (VRX.TO) rose for a third straight day, up 6.5 percent at C$44.16.

The stock has benefited from a “trading bounce,” according to Cieszynski. It hit a five-year low on Monday following a spate of negative news.

Additional reporting by Alastair Sharp; Editing by Nick Zieminski and Steve Orlofsky

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