Gold mining stocks mute TSX loss after Brexit vote

Fri Jun 24, 2016 5:00pm EDT
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By Alastair Sharp

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index fell on Friday the most in four months, as financial and energy stocks slid after Britain voted to leave the European Union, while the resulting market turmoil boosted gold miners as demand for the precious metal surged.

That helped the resource-rich Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE outperform U.S. and European indices despite broad and steep losses for most of its main sectors that pushed it down 1.7 percent overall.

It closed down 239.50 points at 13,891.88, but was only marginally lower over the week.

Its junior cousin, the TSX Venture exchange, notched an overall gain due to its heavy weighting in gold producers.

The main index's heavyweight financials group lost 3 percent, with Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO: Quote) down 3.1 percent at C$77.21 and Manulife Financial Corp (MFC.TO: Quote) slumping 7.4 percent to C$17.35.

"June 23rd probably signals that the best part of this year is over for equity markets, including for Canada," said Elvis Picardo, strategist at Global Securities in Vancouver, referring to the date of the British EU referendum.

The blow to investor confidence and the uncertainty unleashed by the Brexit vote could keep the U.S. Federal Reserve from raising interest rates as planned this year, and even spark a new round of emergency policy easing from major central banks.

Oil prices plunged, taking Canadian energy stocks down more than 3 percent. [O/R]   Continued...

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