(RTTNews.com) - Canadian shares ended the abbreviated session on Monday with sharp losses, as concerns about slowing global economy, political uncertainty in the U.S., a prolonged U.S.-China trade war and falling crude oil prices triggered yet another round of selling in the market.
The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index ended down 155.25 points, or 1.11%, at 13,780.19, slightly above the session's low of 13,776.88. The index scaled a high of 13,923.96 during the session.
On Friday, the index ended down 206.33 points, or 1.46%, at 13,935.44, slightly off the day's low of 13,924.38.
Crude oil's sharp plunge triggered heavy selling in energy stocks and pushed the Capped Energy Index down by about 3.2%.
Suncor Energy (SU.TO), Cenovus Energy (CVE.TO), Imperial Oil (IMO.TO), Tourmaline Oil Corp. (TOU.TO), Husky Energy Inc. (HSE.TO) and ARC Resources (ARX.TO) lost 2 to 3.5%.
Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO), Encana Corporation (ECA.TO), Vermilion Energy Inc. (VET.TO), and PrairieSky Royalty (PSK.TO) ended lower by 4 to 5.2%.
Among bank stocks, 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 0.5 to 1%, while Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) ended modestly lower.
Materials shares ended on a firm note thank to higher gold prices. The Capped Materials Index gained 1.72%. Barrick Gold Corporation (ABX.TO), Franco-Nevada Corporation (FNV.TO), Agnico Eagle Mines (AEM.TO), Wheaton Precious Metals Corp. (WPM.TO), Goldcorp Inc. (G.TO), First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO) and Kirkland Lake Gold (KL.TO) gained 2 to 5.3%.
Shares from industrial, real estate, utilities and consumer discretionary sections ended mostly lower, while healthcare, information technology shares ended mixed.
On Wall Street, stocks ended substantially lower, extending the sell-off seen over the past several sessions. The major averages once again tumbled to their lowest closing levels in well over a year. The Dow plunged 2.9%, the Nasdaq tumbled 2.2% and the S&P 500 plummeted 2.7%.
Volume of business, however, was relatively thin as traders largely stayed away from their desks ahead of Christmas holiday.
The partial government shutdown, which now looks likely to continue into the new year following President Donald Trump and Democratic lawmakers differing on the issue of funding for the controversial border wall, dented investor sentiment. Trade jitters and crude's plunge weighed as well.
Markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance on Monday, while major European markets moved lower in a holiday-shortened session.
In commodities, crude oil futures for February ended down $3.06, or 6.7%, at $42.53 a barrel, the lowest settlement since mid 2017. In absolute terms, oil's decline today was the steepest in about three months.
Gold futures for February ended up $13.70, or 1.1%, at $1,271.80 an ounce.
Silver futures for March ended up $0.12, or 1%, at $14.820 an ounce, while Copper futures for March settled at $2.661 a pound, about 0.3% down from previous close.
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