Traders, besides reacting to mixed economic data, were also cautious ahead of the weekend and the Christmas holiday on Tuesday. Threat of a U.S. government shutdown weighed as well.
In economic news, data from Statistics Canada showed that GDP expanded 0.3% on a seasonally adjusted monthly basis in October following a 0.1% decrease in September. Economists had forecast a 0.2% rise.
Another report from Statistics Canada showed that retail sales rose in October, driven by higher sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers and gasoline stations.
Retail sales increased a seasonally adjusted 0.3% in October (month-on-month), less than economists' forecast for a 0.5% increase. Sales grew 0.1% in September. Core retail sales were flat on month after a 0.1% uptick in the previous month. Economists were looking for a 0.2% increase.
The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index ended down 206.33 points, or 1.46%, at 13,935.44, slightly off the day's low of 13,924.38.
On Thursday, the index closed down by 122.29 points or 0.86%, at 14,141.77.
Mirroring widespread selling, all the sectoral indices ended in negative territory. The market breadth was very weak. Out of 1,899 stocks seen in action, as many as 1,256 stocks closed weak. 475 stocks advanced and 168 stocks ended flat.
Shares from financial, energy, information technology, healthcare and industrials sections ended notably lower.
The Capped Financial Index ended nearly 2% down. Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO), Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO), Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO), Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO) and National Bank of Canada (NA.TO) lost 1.2 to 2%, while Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) shed more than 3%.
Manulife Financial Corporation (MFC.TO) declined by about 4.3% and Fairfax Financial Holdings (FFH.TO) ended lower by 3.1%.
The Capped Energy Index ended 1.85% down. Suncor Energy (SU.TO), Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO), Cenovus Energy (CVE.TO), Encana Corporation (ECA.TO) and ARC Resources (ARX.TO) lost 1.5 to 3%, while Husky Energy (HSE.TO) declined by 4.2%.
In the materials space, Barrick Gold Corporation (ABX.TO), Franco-Nevada Corporation (FNV.TO), Wheaton Precious Metals Corp. (WPM.TO), Goldcorp Inc. (G.TO) and CCL Industries (CCL.B.TO) ended lower by 1 to 4%.
The Capped Information Technology Index declined more than 3%. CGI Group (GIB.A.TO), Constellation Software Inc. (CSU.TO), Shopify Inc. (SHOP.TO), Open Text Corporation (OTEX.TO) and Descartes Systems Group (DSG.TO) shed 2 to 4%. Kinaxis Inc. (KXS.TO) declined by about 5.5% and BlackBerry (BB.TO) ended more than 8% down.
Enghouse Systems (ENGH.TO) ended lower by about 4%. The company announced that its board of directors has approved a 2-for-1 share split of its outstanding common shares.
Among healthcare stocks, Bausch Health Companies Inc. (BHC.TO), Aurora Cannabis Inc. (ACB.TO) and Canopy Growth Corporation (WEED.TO) ended lower by 2.6 to 3.5%.
In the industrials section, Canadian National Railway (CNR.TO), Waste Connections Inc. (WCN.TO), SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. (SNC.TO), CAE Inc. (CAE.TO), Ritchie Bros. (RBA.TO), Toromont Industries (TIH.TO), Bombardier Inc. (BBD.B.TO) and Finning International (FTT.TO) lost 1 to 3%.
Air Canada (AC.TO) declined 4.7%. The company announced that it has completed two separate banking transactions in December 2018 which together have increased Air Canada's revolving lines of credit by approximately $600 million and overall liquidity by approximately $345 million.
U.S. stocks ended sharply lower as investors pressed sales at several counters, digesting mixed economic data on durable goods orders, third quarter GDP, personal income and spending and consumer sentiment.
Threat of a U.S. government shutdown weighed on the market. The major averages climbed off their lows in late-day trading but still posted steep losses. The Dow slumped 414.23 points or 1.8%, the Nasdaq plummeted 195.41 points or 3% and the S&P 500 tumbled 50.80 points or 2.1%.
Markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance on Friday. European markets ended mostly lower. German, French and the U.K. markets ended slightly higher.
In commodities, crude oil futures for February ended down $0.29, or 0.6%, at $45.59 a barrel.
Gold futures for February ended down $9.80, or 0.8%, at $1,258.10 an ounce. Silver futures for March ended at $14.702 an ounce, down $0.167 from previous close, while Copper futures for March settled at $2.674 per pound, down $0.023 from Thursday's close.
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