TSX hits five-week low as trade war fears grow

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index fell to a five-week low on Friday, led by declines for financial and industrial shares, as domestic data showed hotter-than-expected inflation and fears of a global trade war gripped investors.

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

* Wall Street tumbled on Friday with more than 1,000 points knocked off the Dow in two days as investors, increasingly nervous about a potential U.S. trade war with China, shied away from risk ahead of the weekend and sought shelter from further losses.

* Canada’s annual inflation rate in February jumped to a three-year high while January retail sales put in another disappointing performance, giving the Bank of Canada room to ponder when next to hike interest rates.

* Financials, which account for more than one-third of the weight of the TSX, fell 1.6 percent. Toronto-Dominion Bank declined 2.3 percent to C$73.21. And Royal Bank of Canada was down 1.4 percent at C$99.21.

* Industrials fell 1.4 percent as railroad shares lost ground.

* The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index ended down 176.19 points, or 1.14 percent, at 15,223.74, its lowest close since Feb. 13.

* On Thursday, the TSX registered its biggest one-day percentage drop since September 2016. For the week, the index fell 3.1 percent.

* The energy group fell 1 percent even as oil prices climbed. U.S. crude oil futures settled 2.5 percent higher at $65.88 a barrel.

* Eight of the index’s 10 main groups ended lower.

* The materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, added 0.6 percent.

* Gold futures rose 1.7 percent to $1,349.3 an ounce, boosted by demand for safe-haven assets.

* The largest percentage gainer on the TSX was Kinross Gold, which rose 6.2 percent, while the largest decliner was Lundin Mining, down 6.0 percent.

* The TSX posted three new 52-week highs and 15 new lows.

Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by James Dalgleish