By Carla Mozee, MarketWatch
LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) — Canadian equities dropped Monday, with stocks tied to natural resources pacing declines in Toronto on worries that global demand for commodities will be hurt if debt-strapped Greece defaults.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index fell 0.8% to 12,171.04, adding to last week’s loss of 0.9%. But the index finished off the lowest levels of Monday’s session following late-day reports that international lenders were close to an agreement to ensure Greece received the next portion of its financial aid. Read more in Market Snapshot.
In Toronto trade Monday, only consumer discretionary and consumer staples stocks logged gains among tracked sectors. Shares of Saputo Inc. /zigman2/quotes/204794819/delayed CA:SAP -2.80% rose 4.7% following a ratings upgrade at RBC to outperform from sector perform.
RBC analyst Irene Nattel noted the Saputo’s stock had declined 18% since the food processing company released first-quarter results in early August. “Our assessment is that the downdraft is not justified,” wrote Nattel.
Diversified metals and mining stocks were the worst performers Monday, with the group down 4.6% as metals prices were hit by mounting worries about Greece. Greek officials on Monday held talks with European and International Monetary Fund officials after euro-zone finance ministers last week had further delayed a decision about the next round of financial aid for Greece. Read more about Greece's talks.
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In investing, a rarity that occurs even less frequently than a blue moon is the dividend yield on the S&P 500 exceeding that for the 10-year Treasury note, which is currently the case. S&P's Sam Stovall and Neal Lipschutz discuss on The News Hub.
December silver fell 4.1% and copper futures lost 3.8%, with the U.S. dollar-denominated commodities under pressure as the greenback strengthened against the euro and other rivals as Greece’s debt troubles remained in focus. October platinum and December palladium futures each lost more than 2%. Read more in Metals Stocks.
Moving lower in Toronto were shares of Teck Resources Ltd. , off 3.7%. HudBay Minerals Inc. /zigman2/quotes/208987353/delayed CA:HBM -1.52% shed 0.3% and Ivanhoe Mines Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/207656050/delayed CA:IVN -1.27% lost 4.5%.
Meanwhile, shares of Silvercorp Metals Inc. /zigman2/quotes/210397281/delayed CA:SVM -0.84% closed up 1% at C$6.88. The silver miner on Monday released an open letter to shareholders in which the company’s chairman called its critics well-organized short sellers “trying to profit by manipulating Silvercorp’s share price with false and selective statements, fabrications and rumors.” See more about Silvercorp's response to critics.
Gold stocks slipped as gold futures closed at a three-week low. Gold for December delivery fell $35.80, or 2%, to settle at $1,778.90 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Kinross Gold Corp. /zigman2/quotes/200423011/delayed CA:K -2.39% gave up 0.7% and New Gold Inc. /zigman2/quotes/208562696/delayed CA:NGD +0.76% fell 2.5%. But losses on the S&P/TSX Global Gold Index /zigman2/quotes/210598462/delayed XX:TORGC190 -1.19% were limited in part by a 0.7% gain in shares of Barrick Gold Corp. /zigman2/quotes/209252292/delayed CA:ABX -0.32% .
October oil futures tumbled 2.6% to $85.70 a barrel, also feeling the pinch from strength in the greenback. Among volume leaders, Talisman Energy Inc. fell 2.8% and Suncor Energy Inc. /zigman2/quotes/204570600/delayed CA:SU +1.82% shed 0.8%.
On Wall Street, the S&P 500 Index /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX -0.92% fell 1% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA -0.67% lost 108 points, or 0.9%, to end at 11,401.01.