TORONTO — Canada’s main stock index closed the book on a losing week as lingering worries about a potential invasion of Ukraine by Russia persisted ahead of a long weekend.
The S&P/TSX composite rebounded in afternoon trading from morning weakness but lost the gains at the close.
The Toronto market ended the day down 168.13 points to 21,008.20 for a 2.5 per cent loss over the week that was dominated by headlines about the ratcheting up of geopolitical tensions in Europe.
“The one big worry for investors would be well, what happens if something happens on Sunday or Monday and our markets don’t reopen until Tuesday?,” said Colin Cieszynski, chief market strategist at SIA Wealth Management.
U.S. markets are closed Monday for the Presidents Day holiday while the TSX is closed for Family Day.
“But anybody who was rattled about that, maybe they were done selling already,” he said in an interview.
In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 232.85 points at 34,079.18. The S&P 500 index was down 31.39 points at 4,348.87, while the Nasdaq composite was down 168.65 points at 13,548.07.
All 11 major sectors on the TSX were lower, led by health care and energy.
The sector that includes cannabis producers lost 3.5 per cent as shares of Cronos Group Inc. decreased 6.1 per cent after it reported lower profits despite an increase in revenues.
Energy decreased 2.4 per cent even though crude oil prices recovered from morning weakness to climb Friday.
The April crude oil contract was up 17 cents at US$90.21 per barrel and the April natural gas contract was down 5.3 cents at US$4.38 per mmBTU.
Shares of Advantage Oil & Gas Ltd. decreased 5.8 per cent while Baytex Energy Corp. was off 4.0 per cent.
The sector’s weakness could be partially attributed to worries that a potential nuclear deal with Iran would result in additional supplies coming to market.
But Cieszynski isn’t too worried since several OPEC countries can’t keep up with the current quotas.
“So to me, a little bit of Iranian production coming back on the market wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing given that we’re in a situation where there’s more of a supply constraint, which is why we’re seeing the price go up,” he said.
“So I think the market could absorb some additional production out of Iran.
The Canadian dollar traded for 78.53 cents US compared with 78.77 cents US on Thursday.
Materials was down 1.1 per cent as gold prices slipped from their highest level since June.
The April gold contract was down US$2.20 at US$1,899.80 an ounce and the March copper contract was down slightly at US$4.52 a pound.
Industrials was down as Ritchie Bros Auctioneers Inc. shares plunged 10.2 per cent after the Canadian industrial auctioneer missed expectations in its latest quarter. Partially offsetting the weakness was Air Canada, whose shares rose 3.1 per cent after cutting its net loss to $493 million on a more than tripling of revenue.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 18, 2022.
Companies in this story: (TSX:AAV, TSX:BTE, TSX:AC, TSX:RBA, TSX:CRON, GSPTSE, TSX:CADUSD=X)
Ross Marowits, The Canadian Press