Canadian stocks plunge as financials, energy fall

TORONTO – Canada’s main stock market in Toronto plunged lower Tuesday as financial stocks pulled back ahead of Britain’s vote on whether to leave the European Union, and shares of resources companies fell down with oil prices continuing to slip.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s benchmark Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index lost 109.65 point, or 0.78 percent, to close at 13, 884.23 points. Six of the TSX index’s eight main sub-sectors were lower.

Oil prices ended lower on Tuesday as the U.S. dollar’s strength dampened investors’ commodity appetite. The West Texas Intermediate for July delivery lost 39 cents to settle at USD48.49 a barrel, while Brent crude for August delivery decreased 52 cents to close at USD49.83 a barrel.

The heavyweight TSX financials group slipped 1.04 percent as worries about a potential British exit saw investors push yields on German government debt into below zero for the first time.

Royal Bank of Canada fell 1.77 percent to 77.11 Canadian dollars (USD59.99), Toronto-Dominion Bank declined 1.24 percent to 55.86 Canadian dollars, and Bank of Nova Scotia lost 0.65 percent to 64.55 Canadian dollars.

The move lower was offset by some energy stocks, whose loss was capped at 0.26 percent after rebounding from sharp declines in recent days.
The most influential gainers included Canadian Natural Resources, which rose 0.98 to 37.14 Canadian dollars, and pipeline company TransCanada Corporation, which advanced 0.49 percent to 55.13 Canadian dollars.

TransCanada said Monday that it would build and operate a 2.1 billion Canadian dollar natural gas pipeline in Mexico.

On the economic agenda, Canada’s national net worth declined 1.5 percent, or 144.7 billion Canadian dollars, to 9,571 billion Canadian dollars at the end of the first quarter, mainly due to a decrease in its net international investment position, Statistics Canada said Tuesday.
The agency said the amount that Canadians owe compared to what they earn ticked down in the first three months of 2016, but is still near a record high.

The debt-to-disposable income ratio was 165.3 percent for the first three months of 2016, down from 165.4 percent in the fourth quarter of last year.
The Canadian dollar traded lower at USD0.7780, compared with Monday’s closing rate of USD0.7808. -PNA/Xinhua/