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TSX drops as COVID-19 cases rise; oil weighs

Credit: REUTERS/CHRIS HELGREN

Canada's main stock index fell on Monday as an increase in COVID-19 cases raised fears of a second round of lockdowns, while oil prices fell on the possible return of Libyan oil production.

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Sept 21 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index fell on Monday as an increase in COVID-19 cases raised fears of a second round of lockdowns, while oil prices fell on the possible return of Libyan oil production.

* Canada's most populous province is cracking down on private social gatherings as COVID-19 cases surge, Ontario Premier Doug Ford said in a surprise news conference called on Saturday.

* At 9:50 a.m. ET (1350 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 291.94 points, or 1.8%, at 15,907.03.

* Canadian pipeline operator TC Energy Corp TRP.TO said on Monday Chief Operating Officer François Poirier will take over as its president and chief executive officer after current boss Russ Girling retires at the end of this year. Its shares were down 2.6% in early trading.

* The energy sector .SPTTEN dropped 4.1% as U.S. crude CLc1 prices were down 2.8% a barrel, while Brent crude LCOc1 lost 2.6%. O/R

* The materials sector .GSPTTMT, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, lost 1.6% as gold futures GCc1 fell 1.9% to $1,916 an ounce. GOL/MET/L

* On the TSX, five issues were higher, while 216 issues declined for a 43.20-to-1 ratio to the downside, with 32.32 million shares traded.

* The largest percentage gainers on the TSX were Shopify Inc SHOP.TO and Cominar REIT CUF_u.TO, rising 1.7% and 0.6%, respectively.

* Vermilion Energy Inc VET.TO fell 7.2%, the most on the TSX, while the second-biggest decliner was MEG Energy Corp MEG.TO, down 6.7%.

* The most heavily traded shares by volume were Baytex Energy Corp BTE.TO, New Millennium Iron Corp NML.TO and Bombardier Inc BBDb.TO.

* The TSX posted no new 52-week high or low.

* Across all Canadian issues, there were four new 52-week highs and 10 new lows, with total volume of 65.54 million shares.

(Reporting by Shashank Nayar in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)

((Shashank.Nayar@thomsonreuters.com; within U.S. +1 646 223 8780; outside U.S. +91 80 6182 2256;))

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

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