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Canadian Stocks Down Sharply On Widespread Selling

The Canadian market is deep down in negative territory Monday afternoon with stocks reeling under a severe bout of selling pressure amid rising concerns about slowing growth, soaring inflation and prospects of sharper rate hikes from global central banks.

Falling gold and oil prices, worries about the ongoing lockdown in China's Shanghai and data showing substantial drop in China's exports growth are weighing as well.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index is down 527.11 points or 2.55% at 20,106.17. The index touched a low of 20,033.15, the lowest level in over 3 months.

Except the Consumer Staples index, which is up 1.1%, the rest of the sectoral indices are down in negative territory. The Energy Capped Index is down 6.4% and the Health Care Index is down 6%.

The Materials Capped Index is lower by about 4.3% and the Information Technology Capped Index is down nearly 4%. The indices tracking the performances of stocks from real estate, communications services and industrials sectors are down 2.2 to 2.4%.

Hut 8 Mining Corp (HUT.TO) is down more than 15%. Crescent Point Energy (CPG.TO), Whitecap Resources (WCP.TO), Arc Resources (ARX.TO), Tamarack Valley Energy (TVE.TO), MEG Energy Corp (MEG.TO) and Baytex Energy (BTE.TO) are down 9 to 11%.

Bombardier Inc (BBD.B.TO) is plunging 8.6%, while Cenovus Energy (CVE.TO), Shaw Communications (SJR.B.TO) and Suncor Energy (SU.TO) are down 7.6%, 6.7% and 4.7%, respectively.

Ensign Energy Services Inc. (ESI.TO) shares are down more than 6% despite the company posting a sharp increase in earnings. The company reported adjusted EBITDA of $70 million for the first quarter of 2022, a 40% increase from Adjusted EBITDA of $49.9 million it had posted in the first quarter of 2021.

First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO) announced on Sunday that its board has approved plans for a $1.25 billion expansion of the company's Kansanshi copper mine in Zambia. The stock is down by about 6%.

On the economic front, data from Statistics Canada showed the total value of building permits in Canada fell 9.3% to C$ 11.7 billion in March of 2022, following an upwardly revised 24.6% surge to a record C$ 12.9 billion in the previous month.

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