Metals, Utilities Also Plunging
fell more than 2% in morning trading on Friday, pressured by a sustained slide in crude oil prices that weighed on energy shares as well as banks, industrial and consumer names.
The S&P/TSX composite index tumbled 301.56 points, or 2.4%, to greet noon at 12,034.47. The index has fallen more than 9% since returning from the Christmas break.
The Canadian dollar hesitated 0.73 cents to 68.86 cents
The index is heading for a drop of more than 3% for the week, as low petroleum prices hurt this country's substantial energy sector and economic worries more broadly gave investors reason to retreat.
The most influential movers on the day were banks and energy stocks. The country's largest lender, Royal Bank of Canada, fell 2.7% to $67.70, and one of its biggest drillers, Canadian Natural Resources, lost 6.5% to $24.21.
TransAlta Corp declined 9.2% to $3.96 after the power generation company slashed its dividend to fund its transition away from coal.
Industrials lost ground, with Canadian National Railway down 2.2% at $72.52.
Golds gained, as Barrick Gold Corp rose 5.2% to $11.47, and Detour Gold Corp jumped 10.7% to $16.97 after announcing results late on Thursday.
On the economic slate, the Canadian Real Estate Association reported that national home sales edged back by 0.6% from November to December.
CREA also stated that actual (not seasonally-adjusted) activity was up 10% from December 2014. The association concludes that the number of newly listed homes rose 2.2% from November to December.
The TSX Venture Exchange dropped 5.51 points midday to 489.86.
All but one of the 13 TSX subgroups were lower, energy was 4.9% less energetic, metals and mining plummeted 4%, and utilities faded 2.5%
Only gold stood out against the negative tide, taking on 1.8%.
stocks traded sharply lower Friday after a slew of disappointing
data, a fresh plunge in oil, and a selloff in Chinese stocks added to mounting concerns about slowing global growth.
The Dow Jones industrial average plunged 422.3 points, or 2.6%, to pause for lunch at 15,956.75, with Intel leading decliners and only Home Depot advancing.
The S&P 500 slid 46.5 points, or 2.4%, to 1,875.34. Financials fell more than 3.5% in midday trade to lead all S&P 500 sectors lower.
The NASDAQ index gave back 154.52 points, or 3.4%, to 4,460.48.
Friday also marks an options expiration day that could bring more volatility.
stock markets are to be closed Monday for Martin Luther King
, Jr. Day.
On the economic front, retail sales stateside declined 0.1% in December. Ex-autos, retail sales also fell 0.1%.
The January Empire manufacturing was minus 19.4.
Wholesale inflation, in the form of the producer price index fell 0.2% in December after rising 0.3% in November.
Industrial production for December fell 0.4% Capacity utilization was 76.5%.
preliminary Consumer Sentiment was 93.3. November
business inventories fell 0.2%.
Prices for the 10-year Treasury bolted higher, lowering yields to 2.03% from Thursday's 2.09%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.
Oil prices hurtled earthward $1.52 a barrel to $29.68
Gold prices stayed positive $12.00 to $1,090.38
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