(RTTNews) - The Canadian stock market ended sharply lower on Wednesday, led by declines in materials, energy and healthcare sectors.
A sharp fall in gold and silver prices weighed on materials stocks.
Several stocks from the technology space closed weak after peers in the U.S. market tumbled again. Financials and utilities sections too saw stocks reeling under severe selling pressure. Consumer discretionary stocks managed to find some support.
The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index ended down 325.78 points or 2.02% at 15,817.11, near the session's low. The index advanced to a high of 16,195.01 in early trades, recording a modest gain.
The market had ended on a strong note on Tuesday after four successive days of losses.
The Capped Materials Index fell 5.08%. Silvercorp Metals (SVM.TO), Silvercrest Metals (SIL.TO), MAG Silver (MAG.TO), Kinross Gold (K.TO), OveanaGold (OGC.TO) and First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO) tumbled 9 to 11.5%.
Ssr Mining (SSRM.TO), Yamana Gold (YRI.TO), Eldorado Gold (ELD.TO), B2Gold Corp (BTO.TO), Torex Gold Resources (TXG.TO), Agnico Eagle Mines (AEM.TO) and Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO) also posted sharp losses.
Among the stocks in the energy section, Vermilion Energy (VET.TO), Husky Energy (HSE.TO), Imperial Oil (IMO.TO), Cenovus Energy (CVE.TO) and Parex Resources (PXT.TO) lost 3 to 6.5%.
In the healthcare sector, Aurora Cannabis (ACB.TO) plunged more than 29%. Canopy Growth Corporation (WEED.TO) lost 8.6%, while Aurinia Pharma (AUP.TO), Cronos Group (CRON.TO), Chartwell Retirement Residences (CSH.UN.TO) and Sienna Senior Living (SIA.TO) ended lower by 3.4 to 5%.
Among financial shares, National Bank of Canada (NA.TO), CI Financial Corp (CIX.TO), Onex Corp (ONEX.TO), Laurentian Bank (LB.TO), Fairfax Financial (FFH.TO) and Sun Life Financial (SLF.TO) declined 1.5 to 2.5%.
Technology stocks Celestica Inc. (CLS.TO), Kinaxis Inc. (KXS.TO), Shopify Inc. (SHOP.TO), Asolute Software (ABT.TO), Sierra Wireless (SW.TO) and BlackBerry (BB.TO) ended lower by 2 to 6%.
Consumer discretionary stocks Canadian Tire Corporation (CTC.A.TO), Canada Goose Holdings (GOOS.TO) and Magna International (MG.TO) gained 3.3%, 2.6% and 2.1%, respectively. Brp Inc. (DOO.TO) advanced 1.35%.
U.S. stocks ended sharply lower, amid another sell-off in the technology space. The Dow ended down 1.9%, the Nasdaq plummeted 3% and the S&P 500 plunged 2.4%.
The major European markets closed notably higher. Stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region also closed on a firm note.
In commodities, West Texas Intermediate Crude futures for November ended higher by $0.13 or about 0.3% at $39.93 a barrel, retreating from a high of $40.75.
Gold futures for December ended down $39.20 or about 2.1% at $1,868.40 an ounce, posting their lowest close since July 22nd.
Silver futures for December slid $1.318 to settle at $23.105 an ounce, while Copper futures for December settled at $2.9930 per pound, down $0.0680 from previous close.
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