TSX Hits Three Week Lows; Closes 80-Plus Pts Lower, But Recovers From Day Lows Late In Session; Air Canada, Canadian Natural Resources Weigh


Bottom line is Canada's main stock market, the Toronto Stock Exchange, hit three week lows Thursday. But while the index closed down around 85 points, it was down close to 150 points with only about 30 minutes of trade left as some investors preferred safe-haven investments such as gold or government debt amid concerns about global economic growth as a sanctions war with Russia intensified. Russia today moved to ban certain imports from Europe, and the United States and Canada. NATO said it was ready to support Ukraine.

According to BNN TV, trading volumes were up 5% on normal.

All sectors were lower, bar Health Care. The Mining and Info Tech sectors were the two biggest losers. Of individual stocks, Air Canada (AC-B.TO) and Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) were among the most actively traded, and both stocks weighed on the overall index.

Among commodities, gold shone brighter as the day went on and ended higher amid continued safe-have demand and short covering. Bloomberg reported Thursday afternoon that brent crude advanced from a nine-month low after militants captured a dam in Iraq, bolstering concern that unrest will spread in OPEC's second-biggest oil producer. West Texas Intermediate futures also climbed, it said.

Air Canada flew 8% lower although it reported the most profitable quarter in its history as a result of falling costs and contributions from low cost subsidiary Rouge. However, earnings per share failed to meet analyst predictions. Adjusted net income grew to $139 million or $0.47 cents per share in the second quarter, compared with $115 million or $0.41 per share a year ago. Analysts surveyed by Capital IQ expected EPS of $0.51. Air Canada also said yields would continue to ease this year as it fills planes.

Canadian Natural reported a second quarter profit that was double the year earlier period. Still, Dow Jones reported, National Bank said results were in line, and noted that production guidance was lowered slightly. CNQ lost more than 2%.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

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This article appears in: Investing , Commodities

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