By Warangkana Chomchuen
NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — Canadian stocks posted a sharp loss on Tuesday as concerns over the global economic outlook weighed down markets, and worries about resources demand from China pushed down prices of commodities producers.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index lost 215.80 points, or 1.7%, to 12,308.15. The Canadian benchmark fell nearly 1% when it closed on Monday.
The S&P/TSX Capped Diversified Metals & Mining Index slumped 4%, the biggest decliner among the benchmark’s subsectors. Shares of copper producers fell amid concerns about demand from China after the world’s largest copper producer lowered its growth projection to 7.5% from 8% on Monday.
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Shares of First Quantum Minerals /zigman2/quotes/209694942/delayed CA:FM -7.00% fell 7.7%. Inmet Mining Corp. shares were down 3% and Lundin Mining /zigman2/quotes/201246870/delayed CA:LUN -8.39% declined 6.8%.
Derek Holt, Scotia Capital, said in an emailed note that the markets shouldn’t get carried away in expectations toward China’s cumulative policy easing through required reserve ratio and/or fiscal stimulus.
The Chinese authorities “are signaling comfort with cumulative growth down to 7.5%,” Holt said in his email. “It’s fairly clear that China has shifted toward focusing upon imbalances and inflation risk over growth concerns, so be careful toward any bullish slant here.”
Gold futures fell for the third session, down 1.8% to $1,673.50 an ounce. Barrick Gold shares declined 2%. Banro Corp. dropped 5.8%.
Equities in the energy group declined 2.3%, with Calfrac Well Services /zigman2/quotes/202132416/delayed CA:CFW -4.77% falling 4.3%. Suncor Energy /zigman2/quotes/204570600/delayed CA:SU -9.26% shares were down 3%.
In technology, shares of Open Text Corp. /zigman2/quotes/204542734/delayed CA:OTC +2.25% declined 2.8%.
Research In Motion wavered between gains and losses as analysts expected weak sales ahead of the BlackBerry maker’s fourth-quarter results later in March.
Equities of Canadian banks fell. Bank of Nova Scotia /zigman2/quotes/206642548/delayed CA:BNS -0.93% shares dipped 0.3% on earnings results. Canada’s third largest bank by assets reported a 15% increase in its first-quarter profit and raised its quarterly dividend by 6%.
Among a few gainers, Wajax Corp. /zigman2/quotes/209647880/delayed CA:WJX -3.29% shares rose 4.3%. The industrial machinery and equipment dealer reported stronger fourth-quarter revenue and raised its monthly dividend 35%.
Shares of construction and infrastructure company Aecon Group Inc. /zigman2/quotes/204582927/delayed CA:ARE -5.20% climbed 2% on a quarterly dividend increase and higher fourth-quarter earnings.
Commodity-sensitive Canadian loonies /zigman2/quotes/210561978/realtime/sampled USDCAD +0.7488% weakened against the U.S. counterpart, with one U.S. dollar buying C$1.0014 from C$0.9940 late Monday.