Friday, December 19th2.2°C
24295
22934

TSX heads lower amid uncertainty about Chinese growth, Crimea referendum

TORONTO - The Toronto stock market closed lower Friday with traders going into the weekend cautious about China's economic performance and the crisis over Ukraine.

The S&P/TSX composite index slipped 17.48 points to 14,227.66, led by losses in the financials sector.

The Canadian dollar was down 0.34 of a cent to 90.13 cents US.

New York indexes were also lower as the latest reading on consumer sentiment also weighed on stock prices. The University of Michigan's widely watched index declined to 79.9 from 81.6 in February and was lower than the 82.5 reading that had been forecast.

The Dow Jones industrials gave back 43.22 points to 16,065.67, the Nasdaq lost 15.02 points to 4,245.4 and the S&P 500 index slipped 5.21 points to 1,841.13.

Investors looked ahead to a referendum being held in the Crimea region of Ukraine on Sunday where residents will vote on whether they want to join Russia. The vote is being held two weeks after Russian troops initially moved into Crimea, where Russia has a key naval base and many of the people are Russian speaking.

If Crimea votes to secede, the U.S. and European Union plan to slap sanctions on Russian officials and businesses accused of escalating the crisis and undermining Ukraine’s new government.

"It’s not the results of the referendum that are the issue here — it’s the reaction from both Russia and the G7 nations afterwards," said Jean-Francois Dion, a portfolio adviser at RBC Wealth Management.

"What really matters is whether or not we do get sanctions and the secondary issue would be the smaller risk of some kind of debt restructuring for Ukraine or the urgent need of capital in the banking system if these tensions last too long."

Adding to nervousness was a warning from Russia that it reserves the right to intervene in defence of ethnic Russians it says are under threat in eastern Ukraine.

Meanwhile, China's growth prospects have also depressed markets this week in the wake of soft export, retail and industrial production numbers.

The TSX base metals segment has plunged about 11 per cent this week while copper, viewed as an economic proxy, has dropped almost 10 per cent over the last five sessions. Copper is also used for financing in China and last week's first-ever corporate default raised worries that other failed companies could dump large quantities of the metal on markets, further depressing prices.

The base metals component was slightly lower Friday as May copper rose three cents to US$2.95 an ounce.

The TSX financial sector was the major decliner, down 0.63 per cent.

Royal Bank (TSX:RY) is among 16 major banks being sued by the U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. The lawsuit, filed in the federal district court in New York, was the latest to accuse financial institutions of conspiring to manipulate the influential Libor interest rate. Royal Bank shares declined 64 cents to $71.17.

The energy sector was up 0.17 per cent with April crude in New York up 69 cents to US$98.89 a barrel.

Traders opted for safety, sending gold higher for a fifth session with the April contract up $6.60 to US$1,379 an ounce for a gain of three per cent this week. The gold sector led advancers, up about one per cent on Friday.

The TSX shed 0.7 per cent for the week as a whole, with base metal losses balanced somewhat by a gain of about five per cent in the gold sector. The Dow industrials fell heavily, losing 2.35 per cent on the week.

The Canadian Press


Read more Business News




Recent Trending




Today's Market
S&P TSX14468.26+121.51
S&P CDNX676.54+11.04
DJIA17804.8026.65
Nasdaq4765.38+16.983
S&P 5002070.65+9.42
CDN Dollar0.8618+0.0001
Gold1197.20+2.50
Oil56.50+2.39
Lumber336.20-0.70
Natural Gas3.446-0.196

 
Okanagan Companies
Pacific Safety0.12-0.01
Knighthawk0.01-0.005
QHR Technologies Inc1.25-0.03
Cantex0.03-0.005
Anavex Life Sciences0.1726+0.0026
Metalex Ventures0.05-0.005
Russel Metals25.58-0.42
Copper Mountain Mining1.55-0.02
Colorado Resources0.120.00
ReliaBrand Inc0.011-0.0089
Sunrise Resources Ltd0.05-0.005
Mission Ready Services0.215-0.01

 
24130


24588

FEATURED Property
20260082-3300 Watt Road
3 bedrooms 3 baths
$2,395,000
more details
image2image2image2
Click here to feature your property
Please wait... loading


My final thoughts on real estate

This will be the last column I write on real estate. Largely because at the end of the year I will be handing in my license. After 20+ years of working in land development, resort development and rea...


Reflecting on the end of the year

The importance of the end of the year and the Christmas holidays is profound. It is a time to reconnect with family and traditions that have made us who we are. But the year-end has always been a time...


Parenthood: Estates, insurance & taxes

It is now even more important to ensure your loved ones are well looked if anything should happen to you. Here are a few topics to consider helping you prepare for some of the unexpected events that c...

_








Member of BC Press Council


24604