TSX posts biggest drop since Sept 2016; trade war fears weigh

Businessmen pass the Toronto Stock Exchange sing in Toronto, Ontario, Canada July 6, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Helgren

(Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index ended sharply lower on Thursday, registering its biggest one-day percentage drop since September 2016, as worries over the threat of trade wars between the United States and China rattled investors.

U.S. President Donald Trump signed a presidential memorandum that could impose tariffs on up to $60 billion of imports from China. Trump will target the Chinese imports only after a consultation period.

U.S. stocks dropped as well, with each of the three major Wall Street indexes suffering its biggest daily percentage drop in six weeks.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index <.GSPTSE > fell 275.35 points, or 1.76 percent, to 15,399.93.

The TSX energy index was down 2.4 percent and among sectors with the biggest declines on the day following a decline in oil prices.

The TSX posted three new 52-week highs and nine new lows. Across all Canadian issues there were 11 new 52-week highs and 40 new lows.

The largest percentage gainer on the TSX was New Flyer Industries Inc , which rose 4.5 percent, while the largest decliner was Eldorado Gold Corp , down 11.1 percent.

Among the most active Canadian stocks by volume were Bombardier Inc , up 0.5 percent to $3.78; Aurora Cannabis Inc, down 4.5 percent to $9.63 and Eldorado Gold.

Reporting by Caroline Valetkevitch in New York; additional reporting by Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva and Lisa Shumaker