TORONTO (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index fell hard on Tuesday as sharply lower commodity prices and weak U.S. consumer confidence prompted profit-taking after a big run-up in the index.
Disappointing quarterly corporate results in the United States also convinced investors to pocket some of the market’s sharp recent gains.
The slide was headed by the index’s mining-laden materials group, which fell 3.5 percent on a drop in gold prices. The energy group dropped 1.92 percent as the price of oil fell.
Shares of miner Goldcorp, the biggest drag on the index, were off 5.92 percent at C$39.11, while Barrick Gold Corp was down 4.2 percent at C$36.21. Kinross was also a heavy loser, down 6.2 percent at C$20.55.
“Commodities certainly are driving it today, and financials are also in the game,” said Adrian Mastracci, portfolio manager and president of KCM Wealth Management Inc in Vancouver.
“Today we got a little bit of profit-taking but it’s also not too terribly surprising. We’ve had a long run now. It does point to the fact that some investors are being a little cautious, and rightly so.”
The S&P/TSX composite index closed down 186.89 points, or 1.74 percent, at 10,570.54. Nine of its 10 main groups were lower, including the hefty financials, which fell 1.3 percent.
The tumble came a day after the TSX index rallied to its highest level in nearly 10 months and after a 44 percent climb from the five-year low it fell to in March.
“When you have that kind of move up it wouldn’t surprise me at any point in time to see the market go through some period of consolidation,” said Peter Chandler, senior vice-president at Canaccord Capital in Waterloo, Ontario. “So ... it’s just a catch of breath after an unparalleled rise.”
The selloff came after Viacom Inc and Office Depot Inc both delivered disappointing quarterly results and spurred investors to seek more evidence of economic rebound.
Meanwhile, conflicting U.S. data showed U.S. home prices rose in May for the first time in three years, but a weakening job market hit consumer confidence in July and could prevent near-term economic recovery.
In Canada, business confidence rebounded in the second quarter, but many business leaders said their companies are still operating well below capacity, a survey showed.
Shares of Rogers Communications Inc, another key drag on the index, fell 4.9 percent to C$29.45 after the company slashed its revenue outlook and said its wireless subscribers were cutting back on spending.
The healthcare sector was the lone advancing sector, eking out a 0.14 percent gain. Cardiome said it had achieved a milestone from collaboration with Merck & Co Inc. Cardiome rose 5.4 percent to C$4.68.
Additional reporting by Frank Pingue; Editing by Peter Galloway