Canada’s main stock index lost ground on Tuesday as U.S. stocks finished off a roller-coaster day of trading in the red.
The S&P/TSX composite index fell 72.93 points to 16,298.88, in a largely broad-based decline led by the influential energy and materials sectors.
South of the border, losses by industrial and technology companies pulled U.S. stocks lower, erasing an early gain that sent the Dow Jones industrial average surging to 26,000 points for the first time.
In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 10.33 points to 25,792.86. The S&P 500 index gave back 9.82 points to 2,776.42 and the Nasdaq composite index lost 37.37 points to 7,223.69 — with both indices also reversing earlier gains.
“There’s bound to be some profit taking given that the rise in the U.S. has become exponential since late last year and coming into this year,” said Luc de la Durantaye, managing director of CIBC Management.
“It’s an expensive market and there’s a lot of expectations built in, and sobriety is kicking in a bit.”
In currency markets, the Canadian dollar closed at an average trading value of US80.52¢, up 0.02 of a U.S. cent, ahead of the Bank of Canada’s interest rate announcement Wednesday.
All eyes will be on the central bank as it decides whether or not to raise the trend-setting interest rate for a third time since last summer.
“I think the bank is economically bent and will raise rates tomorrow, but I think they could very well have a bit of a dovish tone,” said de la Durantaye.
On the Canadian corporate front, shares of Nutrien Ltd. were down 54¢, or 0.81%, to $65.96 after the fertilizer giant said it plans to sell all of its holdings in Israel Chemicals Ltd. in a secondary share offering for an expected US$700 million. The sale comes as one of the requirements set out by global regulators for Potash Corp. and Agrium Inc. to merge to become Nutrien.
Meanwhile, struggling Yellow Pages Ltd. saw its stock rise 6¢, or 0.73%, to $8.27 following the Montreal-based company’s announcement that it has cut another 500 jobs across the country.
In commodities news, the February crude contract was down US57¢ to US$63.73 per barrel and the February natural gas contract gave back US7¢ to US$3.13 per mmBTU.
The February gold contract was up US$2.20 to US$1,337.10 an ounce and the March copper contract was unchanged at US$3.22 a pound.