TSX has weakest day in five weeks on disappointing banking results - InfoNews

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TSX has weakest day in five weeks on disappointing banking results

The TSX ticker is shown in Toronto on May 10, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
February 28, 2019 - 2:19 PM

TORONTO - Canada's main stock index had its weakest performance in more than five weeks as geopolitical uncertainty and disappointing bank results deflated what has been a strong start to the year.

The S&P/TSX composite index closed down 75.29 points to 15,999.01, marking the largest single-day drop since Jan. 22.

Despite the decline, the market is up 11.7 per cent so far in 2019 and just 3.4 per cent off its all-time high.

A sudden end to a meeting between the leaders of the U.S. and North Korea, congressional testimony by Donald Trump's former personal lawyer and mixed messages about trade talks between the U.S. and China prompted an investor chill, says Allan Small, senior investment adviser at HollisWealth.

The market's tone was positive earlier in the day following the release of strong GDP data in the U.S. But it softened as investors felt no urgency to buy, he said.

"I think you had a lot more reason to buy at the beginning of the year coming off the downturn of last year," he said in an interview.

"And so I just think that here we are, a stone's throw away from all-time highs on all major indexes in North America really...people are wondering what it's going to take this market to the next level and I think people are struggling with that right now."

The Toronto market's decline was led by financials and materials sectors, which together account for nearly half of the composite index.

Financials fell after disappointing quarterly results from CIBC and TD Bank.

Small said the overall tone of bank results this quarter has been weak, albeit expected, on challenges from their capital markets and wealth management operations.

'I think a lot of individual investors are looking to the banks now and saying is there still money to be made on these stocks and I think they're finding it difficult to find a catalyst."

The health-care sector gained 1.2 per cent on gains by several large cannabis producers including Canopy Growth Corp.

The key energy sector was down even though the price of crude rose.

The April crude contract was up 28 cents at US$57.22 per barrel and the April natural gas contract was up 1.3 cents at US$2.81 per mmBTU.

The Canadian dollar traded at an average of 75.94 cents US compared with an average of 76.07 cents US on Wednesday.

The April gold contract was down US$5.10 at US$1,316.10 an ounce and the May copper contract was down 1.45 cents at US$2.95 a pound.

New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 30.65 points at 25,954.51. The S&P 500 index was down 5.14 points at 2,787.24, while the Nasdaq composite was down 17.78 points at 7,536.73.

Companies, index and currency in this story: (TSX:WEED, TSX:CM, TSX:TD, TSX:GSPTSE, TSX:CADUSD=X)

News from © The Canadian Press, 2019
The Canadian Press

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