TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index fell to a nearly four-week low on Monday as lower commodity prices weighed on energy and mining stocks, while financials also fell.
The index has fallen 2.9 percent from a recent six-month high of 13,972.62, pressured by a weakening in commodity prices and a wildfire that led to production cuts in Canada’s oil sands region.
“That commodity related energy trade that’s had a pretty good couple of months there, has faded here in the last couple of weeks,” said Paul Hand, managing director at RBC Capital Markets.
Spot gold XAU= fell 2 percent, while copper CMCU3 hit its lowest in nearly a month as weak trade data from top consumer China highlighted poor demand growth prospects and the U.S. dollar rose. [GOL/][MET/L]
The materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, lost 4.5 percent.
Suncor Energy Inc (SU.TO), which cut production last week due to the wildfire, fell 1.8 percent to C$33.24.
About half of Canada’s daily oil sands crude output, or 1 million barrels per day, has been taken offline, according to a Reuters estimate.
Oil prices fell on expectations that U.S. crude inventories would again build to record highs. U.S. crude futures CLc1 settled at $43.44 a barrel, down 2.73 percent, while the overall energy group was down 1.9 percent. [O/R]
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed down 137.63 points, or 1 percent, at 13,563.84. It touched its lowest since April 12 of 13,535.54.
Eight of the index’s 10 main groups ended lower.
“What you are searching for now is the bottom end of what is likely to be a trading zone for the next couple of months ... to digest what has been a pretty robust rally since February,” said Hand.
Financials dipped 0.4 percent, including a 0.6 percent drop in the shares of Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) to C$75.62.
Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc VRX.TO said it expected to file its first-quarter report with U.S. and Canadian regulators on or before June 10, ahead of a July 31 deadline, and reiterated its first-quarter forecasts. Still its shares fell 5.2 percent to C$36.56.
Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by James Dalgleish and Diane Craft