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TSX falls on virus worries, downbeat U.S. economic data

Credit: REUTERS/MARK BLINCH

Canada's main stock index fell in early trade on Wednesday as a surge in domestic coronavirus cases and downbeat U.S. business activity in September dented investor sentiment.

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Sept 23 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index fell in early trade on Wednesday as a surge in domestic coronavirus cases and downbeat U.S. business activity in September dented investor sentiment.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will unveil later in the day what he says is a far-reaching plan to help the economy recover from the coronavirus pandemic while ensuring efforts to fight the outbreak do not falter.

* At 9:13 a.m. ET (1413 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 43.63 points, or 0.27%, at 16,099.26.

* Canada is at a "crossroads" in the fight against a second surge of COVID-19 infections, health officials said on Tuesday, when cases rose by 1,248 from the previous day.

* The Canadian dollar fell to a six-week low against its broadly stronger U.S. counterpart, as data showed euro zone business growth grinding to a halt this month and as investors awaited details of Ottawa's spending proposals.

* The energy sector .SPTTEN dropped 0.2% even as U.S. crude CLc1 prices were up 0.6% a barrel and Brent crude LCOc1 added 0.6%. O/R

* The financials .SPTTFS and industrials .GSPTTIN sectors gained 0.5% and 0.8%, respectively.

* The materials sector .GSPTTMT, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, lost 2.8% as gold futures GCc1 fell 1.2% to $1,875.5 an ounce. GOL/MET/L

* On the TSX, 70 issues were higher, while 148 issues declined for a 2.11-to-1 ratio to the downside, with 41.69 million shares traded.

* The largest percentage gainers on the TSX were Canada Goose Holdings GOOS.TO, which jumped 4.7%, and Brookfield Property Partners BPY_u.TO, which rose 2.5%.

* Aurora Cannabis ACB.TO fell 22.4%, the most on the TSX, after it forecast revenue below Street estimates, while the second biggest decliner was New Gold NGD.TO, down 9.0%

* The most heavily-traded shares by volume were Canadian Natural Resources CNQ.TO, Bombardier Inc BBDb.TO and Aurora Cannabis ACB.TO.

* The TSX posted four new 52-week highs and one new low.

* Across all Canadian issues there were eight new 52-week highs and six new lows, with total volume of 75.35 million shares.

(Reporting by Shashank Nayar in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.)

((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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