A sign board in Toronto shows the closing number for the TSX on Thursday October 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

S&P/TSX composite closes down as energy sector moves lower amid lower oil prices

S&P/TSX composite closes down as energy sector moves lower amid lower oil prices

TORONTO — Canada’s main stock index closed lower Monday as the price of oil and other resources fell, while U.S. stock markets were mixed.

“Commodities are under a little bit of pressure,” said Angelo Kourkafas, investment strategist at Edward Jones. “Really it’s tied to concerns around the delta virus strain, and the concern is that it could potentially hamper demand growth.”

The S&P/TSX composite index ended down 38 points at 20,437.42, after closing at a record high on Friday, with both energy and materials stocks down.

“They are more levered to Chinese growth, and there are some concerns that new potential restrictions in Asia, and particularly China, may translate into lower demand for fuel, or reduced mobility in the region,” said Kourkafas.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 106.66 points at 35,101.85. The S&P 500 index was down 4.17 points at 4,432.35, while the Nasdaq composite was up 24.42 points at 14,860.18.

The September crude oil contract closed down US$1.80 at US$66.48 per barrel Monday, which followed on a 7.5 per cent price drop last week for the largest weekly drop since October, said Kourkafas. The September natural gas contract was down eight cents at US$4.06 per mmBTU.

The TSX energy index was down 2.12 per cent amid a widespread retreat on the index, including Suncor Energy Inc. down 2.39 per cent and Cenovus Energy Inc. down 2.16 per cent.

The materials index was down 1.66 per cent as the December gold contract ended down US$36.60 at US$1,726.50 an ounce and the September copper contract was down 5.9 cents at nearly US$4.29 a pound.

Along with global demand concerns, precious metals were also hit by a strengthening U.S. dollar, and the encouraging labour market data in the United States that pushed up treasury yields Friday with some follow-through Monday, said Kourkafas.

Last week U.S. jobs numbers beat expectations, while on Monday the U.S. Department of Labor said there was a record number of job vacancies at over 10 million, he said.

“All this points to momentum behind the labour market,” he said.

The strength of the U.S. economy also put continued pressure on the Canadian dollar, which traded for 79.59 cents US compared with 79.68 cents US on Friday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 9, 2021.

Companies in this story: (TSX:GSPTSE, TSX:CADUSD=X)

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