Thursday, July 31st29.2°C
21450
21739

Toronto stock market slides 100 points amid Portuguese bank worries

TORONTO - The Toronto stock market closed with a triple-digit loss Thursday as worries grew about economic stability in Europe after one of Portugal's largest financial groups said it was investigating massive accounting irregularities.

The S&P/TSX composite index plunged 100.71 points to 15,114.48, with nearly all sectors lower, led by declines in gold, materials and energy stocks.

The Canadian dollar was up 0.11 of a cent at 93.92 cents US.

The Lisbon stock exchange fell sharply as the Espirito Santo group of companies, which includes Portugal's largest bank, said it was looking into major accounting issues. The news rattled investors in Portugal, which was one of the major casualties of the eurozone debt crisis. The country had only emerged from a three-year international bailout program in May.

"What it generally indicates is that we're not entirely out of the woods yet in Europe," said Tim Caulfield, co-lead manager at Franklin Bissett Canadian Equity Fund in Calgary.

Meanwhile, even better than expected jobs figures pointing to an improved U.S. economy couldn't lift Wall Street.

The U.S. Labor Department reported that weekly applications for unemployment aid dropped 11,000 to a seasonally adjusted 304,000 and near a seven-year low. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, dipped 3,500 to 311,500, the second-lowest level since August 2007. Applications are a proxy for layoffs, so the low readings indicate that employers were letting go of fewer workers.

The Dow Jones industrials closed down 70.54 points at 16,915.07, while the Nasdaq lost 22.83 points to 4,396.20 and the S&P 500 dropped 8.15 points to 1,968.03.

With the uncertainty in equity markets, traders flocked to the safe haven of gold, with the price of August bullion jumping $14.90 to US$1,339.20 an ounce.

"What we're seeing is a natural flight to safety," said Caulfield. "Gold itself is a go-to commodity in this type of environment."

The rising price of bullion didn't translate to gold stocks, with many issues sharply lower in heavy trading. Kinross Gold Corp. (TSX:K), for example, fell 11 cents or 2.37 per cent to 4.54 on 5.1 million shares, more than double its average daily volume.

The August crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange climbed 64 cents to US$102.93 a barrel, while September copper was ahead two cents at US$3.27 a pound.

In corporate news, Corus Entertainment (TSX:CJR.B) reported a third-quarter net loss of $30.3 million or 36 cents per share compared with a net profit of $89.9 million or $1.07 per share in the same quarter last year. Revenues were up 14 per cent to $214 million compared with $187.1 million year-over-year. Adjusted net income was $41.6 million or 49 cents per share, missing analysts estimates of $43.17 million or 51 cents and its stock fell three per cent, or 77 cents to $24.58.

Meanwhile, Postmedia Network Canada Corp. (TSX:PNC.B) said it managed to cut its losses for the third quarter, but still faced a steep drop in advertising revenue. The owner of several newspapers and websites, including the National Post, the Vancouver Sun and the Ottawa Citizen, says it lost $20.6 million or 51 cents per diluted share for the three months ended May 31. That compared with a loss of $103.3 million or $2.56 per diluted share a year earlier when it booked an impairment charge of $93.9 million.

Postmedia is in the middle of a three-year turnaround plan, which has included closing various printing plants, laying off staff and setting up digital paywalls for its websites.

Follow @LindaNguyenTO on Twitter.

The Canadian Press


Read more Business News

21623


Recent Trending




Today's Market
S&P TSX15330.74-194.08
S&P CDNX1001.52-9.58
DJIA16563.30-317.06
Nasdaq4369.773-93.129
S&P 5001930.67-39.40
CDN Dollar0.9162-0.0007
Gold1310.00+6.70
Oil97.92-0.25
Lumber326.90+2.50
Natural Gas3.73-0.017

 
Okanagan Companies
Pacific Safety0.18-0.005
Knighthawk0.01-0.005
QHR Technologies Inc1.21-0.01
Cantex0.085+0.02
Anavex Life Sciences0.262+0.002
Metalex Ventures0.08-0.005
Russel Metals35.23+0.01
Copper Mountain Mining2.75-0.08
Colorado Resources0.205-0.015
ReliaBrand Inc0.10+0.019
Sunrise Resources Ltd0.03-0.005
Mission Ready Services0.150.00

 



21623

FEATURED Property
20041354205 Gellatly Road
2 bedrooms 3 baths
$279,500
more details
image2image2image2
Click here to feature your property
Please wait... loading


Take charge of your debt

Photo: Thinkstock.comWays to reduce your Debt:Make a budget and get budget counselingA basic first step for debt reduction is to prepare a budget and plan your spending. Once you have a budget, you mu...


Geopolitical tensions rattle markets

The Big Picture Geopolitical tensions rattle markets The spectre of rising geopolitical tensions in Ukraine and Gaza cast a shadow over an otherwise positive week in the markets. News that a passenger...


Learn to delegate effectively

Photo: ContributedI have the pleasure of witnessing people delegate tasks quite often. Sometimes with tremendous success and sometimes with disastrous consequences. I have chaired a lot of committees...

_








Member of BC Press Council


22581