Toronto market falls to end a strong April and partially recover March weakness

Toronto market falls to end a strong April and partially recover March weakness

Toronto market falls to end a strong April and partially recover March weakness

TORONTO — Canada’s main stock index ended lower to cap one of its best months in years and partially recover the steep declines of March.

The S&P/TSX composite index closed down 447.37 points or nearly three per cent at 14,780.74.

The loss ended a four-day winning streak that feels like a bit of a pause after Wednesday’s gains, said Greg Taylor, chief investment officer of Purpose Investments.

“Yesterday was really like a perfect storm of good news,” he said, pointing to positive sentiment about the economy reopening and a potential treatment for the novel coronavirus.

“And I think today’s more just sober second thoughts, people are wondering if they got too euphoric yesterday.”

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 288.14 points at 24,345.72. The S&P 500 index was down 27.08 points at 2,912.43, while the Nasdaq composite was down 25.16 points at 8,889.55.

North American stock markets had one of their best performances in years last month.

The TSX gained 10.5 per cent after losing 17.7 per cent in March. That leaves it 17.8 per cent below its Feb. 20 record high.

While equity markets have bounced back there’s no real optimism in the bond market with 10-year U.S. treasuries not recovering much. That’s a big disconnect that has people wondering why the bond market isn’t responding, said Taylor.

He said stock markets mainly overlooked weak U.S. jobless numbers, lower consumer spending and an unwillingness of the European Central Bank to do more quantitative easing.

“No one’s expecting the data to improve right now because this is kind of the eye of the storm. But it better start to improve in the next month or two to justify the bounce back in the equity markets.”

There was also some speculation Thursday that the White House would start putting on tariffs or ratcheting tensions with China as they tried to seek retribution for the virus.

“That would be a fairly big negative for the market if trade tensions started to heighten up and we just don’t need that as we’re still dealing with the other stages of recovery.”

All 11 major sectors of the TSX were lower with materials, financials and health care leading the way.

Materials lost 3.7 per cent as metals dropped partly on weak economic data out of China. Wesdome Gold Mines Ltd. and Silvercorp Metals Inc. were each down about eight per cent.

The June gold contract was down US$19.20 at US$1,694.20 an ounce and the July copper contract was down 2.65 cents at US$2.34 a pound.

The heavyweight financials sector fell 3.5 per cent as Bank of Montreal and National Bank of Canada dipped 5.4 and 4.9 per cent respectively.

Cannabis producers Canopy Growth Corp. led health care lower while energy was down 2.2 per cent despite higher crude oil prices as Suncor Energy Inc. lost 6.2 per cent.

The June crude contract was up US$3.78 or 25 per cent at US$18.84 per barrel and the June natural gas contract was up eight cents at US$1.95 per mmBTU.

Crude is up nearly 63 per cent from last week’s lows but is still down nearly 70 per cent since January as economies have shut down to slow the spread of COVID-19 and Russia and Saudi Arabia engaged in a price war.

Despite the recent gains, Canadian oil producers are cutting output as no one’s making money at current prices.

The Canadian dollar traded for 71.89 cents US compared with an average of 71.83 cents US on Wednesday.

Taylor said the real risk for markets will be in the fall once the economy starts to normalize and optimism will be heightened for a healthy second-half recovery.

“If things start to open up and the economy doesn’t rebound as fast as everyone thinks, the earnings are really sluggish… I think that could be the big risk that causes a retest of those lows.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 30, 2020.


Ross Marowits, The Canadian Press


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cilantro and Chive Owner Rieley Kay (centre) and Guest Chef City Councillor Cara Hoekstra (right) hand over a donation of more than $1,000 to he Lacombe and District Historical Society, care of Executive Director Melissa Blunden at the Michener House Museum and Archives. (Photo Submitted)
Over $1,000 donated to Lacombe and District Historical Society

The donation came from the proceeds from the February Burger of the Month at Cilantro and Chive

File photo
Gov’t of Alberta identifies estimated 300 new COVID-19 cases Sunday

Online COVID-19 dashboard unavailable as upgrades being completed

Red Deer down to 313 active cases of COVID-19

Alberta reports an additional 411 COVID-19 cases

Seniors in the 65-unit Piper Creek Lodge are among those waiting for COVID-19 vaccinations. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Central Alberta senior lodges anxiously waiting for COVID-19 vaccinations

“Should be at the front of the line, not the back of the line”

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Vaccine hesitancy decreases in B.C. as mass immunizations set to begin: poll

Two-thirds of British Columbians, and Canadians, would get the vaccine as soon as possible

A woman walks through Toronto’s financial district on Monday, July 30, 2018. A new poll suggests most Canadians believe there’s still a long way to go to achieve gender equality in this country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
Canadians, especially women, say gender equality not achieved in Canada: Poll

Poll results themselves underscore the challenge, with more men believing equality had been achieved

This image provided by Harpo Productions shows Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex, left, in conversation with Oprah Winfrey. (Joe Pugliese/Harpo Productions via AP)
Race, title and anguish: Meghan and Harry explain royal rift

Meghan said she struggled with concerns within the royal family about her son’s skin colour

Kiara Robillard is seen in an undated handout photo. When the pandemic began, Robillard had to rush back home to Alberta from California, where she had been living for five years, after she was struck by a truck that broke her spine in two places. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Kiara Robillard, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
‘It kind of clicks:’ Text4Hope program helps with depression, anxiety during pandemic

Participants receive one text message every morning for three months

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Supporters rally outside court as Pastor James Coates of GraceLife Church is in court to appeal bail conditions, after he was arrested for holding day services in violation of COVID-19 rules, in Edmonton, Alta., on Thursday March 4, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
‘Law remains valid:’ Pastor accused of violating health orders to remain in jail

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms is representing the pastor

A decommissioned pumpjack is shown at a well head on an oil and gas installation near Cremona, Alta., Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016. The Alberta Energy Regulator says it is suspending all of the licences held by an oil and gas producer with more than 2,200 wells and 2,100 pipelines after it failed to bring its operations into compliance. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Alberta Energy Regulator suspends licences of oil and gas producer that owes $67M

The company is being asked to comply with past orders to clean up historic spills and contamination

Most Read