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TSX lower as oil prices drop, global growth worries return

Reuters logo Reuters 2019-05-15
a close up of a sign: The Toronto Stock Exchange sing is seen in Toronto© Reuters/CHRIS HELGREN The Toronto Stock Exchange sing is seen in Toronto

(Reuters) - Canada's main stock index dropped on Wednesday, as energy shares fell due to a drop in oil prices and weak economic data from China and the United States revived fears of slowing global economic growth.

At 9:37 a.m. ET (1337 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX Composite index was down 36.44 points, or 0.22%, at 16,248.09.

Six of the index's 11 major sectors were lower, led by the energy sector which dropped 0.9%.

Oil prices fell after data showed a surprise rise in U.S. crude inventories and the U.S.-Chinese trade dispute threatened demand, although Middle East tensions capped losses. [O/R]

U.S. crude prices were down 0.8%, while Brent crude lost 0.4%.

Global financial markets, including Wall Street, fell after two of the world's biggest economies reported weak retail sales and industrial data. [MKTS/GLOB] [.N]

Statistics Canada data showed Canada's annual inflation rate edged up to 2.0% in April from 1.9% in March, driven in part by a carbon levy that pushed up gasoline prices in six provinces.

The data weakened the loonies to a six-day low against its U.S. counterpart, and money markets were factoring in a slightly higher chance of an interest rate cut by year end at more than 40 percent.

This pushed the financials sector 0.4% lower.

In a bright spot, the materials sector, which includes precious and base metals miners, added 0.3% as gold steadied amid retreating global stocks. [GOL/]

On the TSX, 84 issues were higher, while 143 issues declined for a 1.70-to-1 ratio to the downside, with 13.75 million shares traded.

The largest percentage gainers on the TSX were Boyd Group Income Fund, which jumped 4.4% after reporting quarterly results.

Energy company Baytex Energy Co fell 4.1%, the most on the TSX.

The most heavily traded shares by volume were Aurora Cannabis, Corus Entertainment Inc and Baytex Energy.

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

Across all Canadian issues there were 15 new 52-week highs and four new lows, with total volume of 23.27 million shares.

(Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)

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