Toronto’s S&P/TSX index registers biggest one-day loss in five months
Canada’s largest stock market racked up its biggest one-day loss in five months Friday as a broad-based decline across all sectors and disappointing corporate earnings pulled the commodity-heavy index lower.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/ TSX composite index plunged 247.73 points or 1.57 per cent to 15,533.47, with energy, consumer staples and consumer discretionary stocks bearing the brunt of the slump.
The last time the TSX registered a loss of such magnitude was in September, when it fell 248.04 points.
Investors have been growing increasingly concerned the anticipated outcomes of U.S. President Donald Trump’s policy promises may not pan out, said Todd Mattina, chief economist at Mackenzie Investments.
“The markets are continuing to wait and see, looking for more clarity from President Trump about his economic package,” Mattina said. “Especially the timing and size of his tax cuts, especially how President Trump intends to pay for those tax cuts.”
North American stock markets have been buoyed since the U.S. election in mid-November by expectations Trump will follow through with campaign promises of deregulation, lowering corporate taxes and engaging in massive infrastructure spending - which would be a boon for industries such as banking and manufacturing.
Last week, indices in Toronto and New York rallied to all-time record highs for several consecutive days, only to pull back this week.
Some of the weight from the TSX could also be attributed to the release of higher-than-anticipated inflation figures. Statistics Canada said the annual inflation rate was 2.1 per cent, mainly due to an increase in transportation costs. The overall rate was stronger than December’s rate of 1.5 per cent.
A batch of corporate earnings also played their part in bringing down the TSX.
Magna International (TSX:MG) tumbled 4.68 per cent, or $2.77, to $56.43 after the auto parts maker reported lowerthan-expected quarterly profit amid higher costs.
Husky Energy (TSX:HSE) fell 5.49 per cent or 90 cents to $15.50 as the oil producer reported its latest results. Canada’s biggest financial institution, Royal Bank (TSX:RY) fell 1.68 per cent, or $1.65, to $96.61 even though the company beat market forecasts.
Meanwhile, Wall Street finished in the positive after being negative throughout most of the session.
The Dow Jones industrial average was ahead 11.44 points at 20,821.76 and the S&P 500 was up 3.53 points at 2,367.34. The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite rose 9.8 points at 5,845.31.
In currencies, the Canadian dollar was slightly higher, up 0.03 of a U.S. cent at 76.28 cents US.
Global stocks fell Friday, amid worries about the potential impact of U.S. trade policies and as investors became more cautious about the market’s recent rally.