(Reuters) - A tumble in shares of energy companies pressured Canada’s main stock index on Wednesday, as crude prices slumped to their lowest in seven months.
Sentiment was also pressured by worries about the impact of a long-drawn U.S.-China trade war on global growth, with yields on U.S. and Germany bonds plummeting as investors sought safe-haven assets. Financials slipped 0.9% in early trade.
Only the materials sector was trading higher, up 2.3%, as gold’s role as a safe-haven asset propelled the metal to a six-year peak.
The energy sector dropped 1.5% as U.S. crude prices were down 2.8% a barrel, while Brent crude lost 2.5%. [O/R]
Oil prices were weighed down by the deepening trade tensions that weighed on the outlook for energy demand. [O/R]
Energy companies were the biggest decliners on the TSX. Nuvista Energy dropped 8.5%, while Ensign Energy Services Inc slipped 5.6%.
At 9:43 a.m. ET (13:43 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was down 58.22 points, or 0.36%, at 16,091.27.
On the TSX, 58 issues were higher, while 176 issues declined for a 3.03-to-1 ratio to the downside, with 29.45 million shares traded.
The largest percentage gainers on the TSX were gold miners B2gold Corp, which jumped 13.4%, and Semafo Inc, which rose 9.3%.
The most heavily traded shares by volume were Enbridge Inc, Troilus Gold Corp and B2gold Corp.
The TSX posted 23 new 52-week highs and 20 new lows.
Across all Canadian issues there were 109 new 52-week highs and 49 new lows, with total volume of 50.78 million shares.
Reporting by Amy Caren Daniel in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila