TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index fell on Thursday as energy and mining stocks dragged due to lower oil prices and a reversal in bullion following the suspension of campaigning for Britain’s European Union referendum after a lawmaker was shot dead.
Gold miners transformed from the main offset to a down market in morning trade to its heaviest weight by the close.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE ended down 41.04 points, or 0.29 percent, at 13,882.41.
Gold prices fell from a two-year high, and Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO) ended down 2 percent at C$25.99 after trading more than 4 percent higher earlier in the session. [GOL/]
Goldcorp Inc (G.TO) swung to a 3 percent loss at C$22.85.
“Uncertainty is never good for markets,” said Bryden Teich, associate portfolio manager at Avenue Investment Management, adding that his firm has held onto cash going into the British vote.
Whether Britain leaves the European Union, dubbed “Brexit,” is an issue that will be decided in a referendum next week and could undermine decades of European integration and stoke global economic uncertainty.
The TSX index has fallen almost 4 percent since peaking this month at its highest in 10 months, on a mix of Brexit jitters, a dim economic outlook, and a pullback in crude.
“The TSX had run a little bit ahead of fundamentals,” Teich added.
The Bank of Canada said economic growth likely stalled in the second quarter due to the impact of Alberta wildfires, while slumping investment spending plans in the energy sector and the possibility that households will suddenly curb their spending due to high debt levels also present risks.
The energy group retreated 1.2 percent as crude prices slid 4 percent, while the materials group that includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies fell 1.4 percent.
Foreign investors bought a net C$15.52 billion ($11.94 billion) in Canadian securities in April, the fourth straight month of relatively significant purchases, Statistics Canada said on Thursday.
Editing by James Dalgleish and Sandra Maler