TSX Loses 4.5%, Settles At 3-month Low As Virus Fears Mount

(RTTNews) - The Canadian stock market suffered one of its worst setbacks in recent months on Wednesday as worries about the economy amid rapidly surging new coronavirus cases triggered widespread selling.

Sharp losses posted by gold and crude oil contracts weighed as well. The market also digested Bank of Canada's interest rate decision and economic outlook.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index ended with a big loss of 434.37 points or 2.7% at 15,586.57, the lowest close in three months.

Mirroring all-round selling, all the sectoral indices ended in the red with sharp losses. The Capped Materials Index suffered the most, falling 4.51%. The Energy Index tumbled nearly 4% and the Information Technology slid 3.42%.

The indices tracking the performances of consumer discretionary, telecom, healthcare and financial sections fell 2.3 to 3.6%. The Utilities index shed about 2%, while those tracking the moves of industrials, real estate and consumer staples shares shed 1.7%, 1.4% and 1.27%, respectively.

Kinross Gold Corp (K.TO), B2Gold Corp (BTO.TO), OceanaGold Corporation (OGC.TO), Husky Energy (HSE.TO) and Suncor Energy (SU.TO) lost 5 to 10%.

Air Canada (AC.TO), Cenovus Energy (CVE.TO), Barrick Gold Corporation (ABX.TO), Telus Corporation (T.TO), Bombardier Inc. (BBD.B.TO), Aurora Cannabis (ACB.TO), Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) and Manulife Financial Corporation (MFC.TO) ended lower by 2 to 4%.

Wheaton Precious Metals (WPM.TO), Shopify Inc. (SHOP.TO), BCE Inc. (BCE.TO), Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO), Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) and Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) also ended sharply lower.

the Bank of Canada left its interest rate unchanged and recalibrated the QE program to conduct purchases of longer-term bonds.

The BOC maintained its benchmark rate at 0.25%, as expected. The bank said that it is recalibrating the QE program to shift purchases towards longer-term bonds, which have more direct influence on the borrowing rates that are most important for households and businesses.

The total purchases will be gradually reduced to at least C$4 billion a week. The bank said it will continue the QE program until the recovery is well underway.

"The Governing Council will hold the policy interest rate at the effective lower bound until economic slack is absorbed so that the 2% inflation target is sustainably achieved," it said.

U.S. stocks crashed, sending the Dow tumbling its lowest close in nearly three months. The Dow slid 3.4%, the Nasdaq plunged 3.7% and the S&P 500 plummeted 3.5%.

The U.S. reported a record surge in coronavirus cases, with as many as 29 states reporting sharp increase in new daily cases.

The major European markets moved sharply lower, while stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance.

In commodities, West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for December ended down $2.18 or about 5.5% at $37.39 a barrel, the lowest settlement in more than three weeks.

Gold futures for December ended lower by $32.70 or about 1.7% at $1,879.20 an ounce, off the session's low of $1,869.10. That was the contract's lowest close since September 25.

Silver futures for December closed lower by $1.211 at $23.359 an ounce, while Copper futures for December settled at $3.0640 per pound, down $0.0295 from previous close.

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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