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Gold, Energy Stocks Lead Canadian Market Sharply Lower

Canadian stocks moved sharply lower during trading on Thursday, extending the downward move seen over the two previous sessions.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index climbed off its worst levels after an early slump but still closed down 217.28 points or 1.1 percent to 18,861.36.

The continued weakness on Bay Street came amid lingering concerns about the global economic outlook and the possibility of a recession.

Central bank chiefs have recently reaffirmed their resolve to bring down inflation despite threats to economic growth.

Gold stocks helped lead the way lower, with the S&P/TSX Global Gold Index plunging by 4 percent. The sell-off came as the price of gold for August delivery slid $10.20 to $1,807.30 an ounce.

Significant weakness was also visible among energy stocks, as reflected by the 1.7 percent slump by the S&P/TSX Capped Energy Index.

Energy stocks moved sharply lower along with the price of crude oil for August delivery, which plunged $4.02 or 3.7 percent to $105.76 a barrel.

Technology and consumer stocks also saw considerable weakness, while real estate stocks bucked the downtrend.

On the economic front, Statistics Canada released a report showing Canadian real gross domestic product rose by 0.3 percent in April, led by growth in goods-producing industries.

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