Canadian stocks snapped a four-day gain to end lower on Monday, dragged down by weak crude oil prices and profit taking, amid uncertainty about near term outlook for the market after last week’s splendid gains.
Energy stocks drifted lower, dragged down by a sell-off in crude oil futures, with mining sector weak as well and bullion retreating after a modest uptick.
Investors also appear somewhat reluctant for any aggressive buying in the holiday shortened week.
In some soft economic news, a National Association of Realtors report on Monday showed existing home sales in the U.S. to have pulled back more than expected in November, after reporting sales at their highest in a year the previous month.
The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index closed Monday at 14,432.38, down 35.88 points or 0.25 percent. The index scaled an intraday high of 14,547.02 and a low of 13,395.44.
On Friday, the index closed at 14,468.26, up 121.51 points or 0.85 percent, tracking rising global markets, driven by gains in the energy sector with oil prices rebounding and the Federal Reserve’s stand on interest rate hikes. .
Crude oil plunged to end sharply lower after having gained over 5 percent in the last session, on continued concerns of a supply glut and demand growth worries.
The Energy Index fell 1.83 percent, with U.S. crude oil futures for February delivery plunging $1.87 or 3.3 percent to close at $55.26 on the Nymex Monday.
Among energy stocks, Canadian Natural Resources Limited (CNQ.TO) dropped 1.61 percent, Suncor Energy Inc. (SU.TO) added 2.16 percent, Pacific Rubiales Energy Corp. (PRE.TO) fell 3.88 percent, Talisman Energy Inc. (TLM.TO) slipped 0.76 percent, and Cenovus Energy Inc. (CVE.TO) added 0.54 percent.
Gold futures ended sharply lower amid a rally in global equity markets that curbed the demand for the yellow metal, notwithstanding the dollar weakening against a basket of major currencies.
The Global Gold Index plunged 5.41 percent, with gold for February delivery shedding $16.2 or about 1.4 percent to settle at $1,179.80 an ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange Monday.
Among gold stocks, Kinross Gold Corp. (K.TO) shed 5.25 percent, Agnico Eagle Mines Limited (AEM.TO) jumped 7.11 percent, Goldcorp Inc. (G.TO) dropped 5.07 percent, Eldorado Gold Corp. (ELD.TO) plunged 8.82 percent, Barrick Gold Corp. (ABX.TO) shed 4.53 percent, and Franco-Nevada Corp. (FNV.TO) surrendered 4.03 percent.
The Capped Materials Index dived 3.05 percent, mostly on sharply declining gold stocks, with Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. (POT.TO) slipping 0.17 percent.
The heavyweight Financial Index gained 0.51 percent, as National Bank of Canada (NA.TO) added 0.54 percent, Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) advanced 0.81 percent, and Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) up 0.46 percent.
Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) ended flat at $79.46 from its previous close, while Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) gained 0.90 percent. Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO) added 1.71 percent.
The Healthcare Index added 0.43 percent, as Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc. (VRX.TO) fell 0.72 percent, Catamaran Corp. (CCT.TO) up 0.84 percent, and Extendicare Inc. (EXE.TO) down 0.90 percent.
The Diversified Metals & Mining Index fell 2.42 percent, as Teck Resources Limited (TCK.B.TO) shed 2.99 percent, First Quantum Minerals Ltd. (FM.TO) dropped 2.33 percent, and Finning International Inc. (FTT.TO) down 0.83 percent.
The Capped Industrials Index added 0.57 percent, with Bombardier Inc. (BBD.B.TO) down 0.25 percent.
The Information Technology Index gathered 1.55 percent, with BlackBerry Ltd. (BB.TO) surging 7.62 percent. Aircraft manufacturer Boeing has sought the help of BlackBerry to develop a super-secret, self-destructing ‘Black’ smartphone for government agencies.
The Consumer Staples Index dropped 1.10 percent, with Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. (ATD.B.TO) down 2.49 percent, and Cott Corp. (BCB.TO) up 0.39 percent.
Bellatrix Exploration Ltd. (BXE.TO) plunged 7.17 percent, after revising its capital budget for 2015 to $300 million from $400 million to maintain balance between delivering organic growth and preserving its strong financial position in a lower commodity price environment.
AuRico Gold Inc. (AUQ.TO) fell 1.92 percent after announcing that it will receive $20-million cash and a stream of royalty payments from Crocodile Gold Corp. (CRK.TO) under a revised agreement between the two companies.
Sierra Wireless Inc. (SW.TO) surged 7.37 percent, after entering into an agreement to buy Wiress Maingate AB, a Sweden-based machine-to-machine connectivity provider, for US$ 90 million in cash.
In economic news from the U.S., a report from the National Association of Realtors showed existing home sales to have pulled back much more than expected in the month of November, declining 6.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.93 million, after climbing 1.4 percent to 5.25 million in October. Economists expected existing home sales to edge down to 5.20 million.
Germany’s real wage index rose for the third consecutive quarter, at the fastest pace in more than three years, during the three months to September, figures from Destatis showed Monday.
Real wages climbed 1.8 percent year-on-year in the third quarter, faster than the 1.5 percent rise in the previous three months. The rate of growth was the highest since the second quarter of 2011 when it increased 1.9 percent.
Elsewhere, China unveiled rules to ease market access for foreign banks in order to open up the domestic financial sector. The State Council amended its rules requiring foreign banks to transfer a specific amount of operating funds to its new branch in China. Foreign banks will also be allowed to conduct yuan transactions after operating in China for at least a year compared to the prior requirement of three years.
Meanwhile, the Bank of Japan turned more upbeat on the economy, the Monthly Report on Recent Economic and Financial Developments revealed Monday. Japan’s economy has continued to recover moderately as the decline in demand following the sales tax hike have been waning on the whole.
Traders will be looking ahead to third quarter GDP report, durable goods orders data for November, the consumer confidence report from University of Michigan, new home sales report for November and weekly jobless claims report this week.
The material has been provided by InstaForex Company – www.instaforex.com