Canadian stocks finished Thursday in the red, as commodity-linked shares took a beating, while a batch of downbeat data raised concerns about the domestic economic recovery ahead of next week’s federal election.
The TSX Composite dropped 91.69 points to finish Thursday at 20,602.10
The Canadian dollar dipped 0.04 cents to 78.85 cents U.S.
Gold took the brunt of the blows, with Barrick Gold sliding 85 cents, or 3.5%, to $23.59, while Eldorado Gold off 40 cents, or 3.7%, to $10.35.
Fortuna Silver Mines doffed 36 cents or 6.3%, to $5.37. Elsewhere in materials, Capstone Mining shed 32 cents, or 5.7%, to $5.28.
Also massaging their wounds were consumer discretionary stocks, notably Magna International, heading $4.51, or 4.4%, to $96.98, while Linamar gathered 55 cents, or 5%, to $11.61.
Nuvei Corp rose $11.10, or 6.7%, the most on the TSX, to $175.37, after RBC raised the price target for the payment processing firm’s stock.
Elsewhere in tech issues, HUT 8 Mining picked up 55 cents, or 5%, to $11.61.
Financials also rose, with Equitable Group hiking $2.46, or 1.6%, to $152.09, while Trisura Group gathered $1.12, or 2.6%, to $45.05.
In communications, Rogers picked up 50 cents to $59.91, while BCE grabbed 23 cents to $65.05.
On thing macroeconomic Statistics Canada said foreign investors acquired $14.2 billion of Canadian securities in July, led by purchases of government debt securities. At the same time, Canadian investors reduced their holdings of foreign securities by $4.7 billion.
StatsCan also said wholesale trade fell for the second consecutive month, down 2.1% in July. This decline was due to a 12.4% decrease in sales of building materials and supplies.
Meanwhile, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation said housing starts were 283,971 units in August 2021, down from 286,076 units in July 2021.
Elsewhere, Alberta introduced a vaccine passport system on Wednesday to combat a fourth wave of COVID-19 that is close to overwhelming the healthcare system, as Premier Jason Kenney apologized for mishandling the pandemic.
The TSX Venture Exchange dropped 8.8 points to 895.90
All but three of the 12 TSX were in minus country, with gold sliding 4.4%, materials skidding 3.3%, and energy off 1.2%.
The three gainers were real-estate, up 0.2%, industrials, eking up 0.1%, and consumer staples, a shade above breakeven.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed back from intraday lows, but closed down Thursday ahead of a seasonally weak period of trading in September.
The blue-chip average gave back 63.07 points to 34,751.32
The S&P 500 came off its lows but still lost 6.95 points to 4,473.75.
The NASDAQ Composite fought its way into plus territory, gaining 20.4 points to 15,181.92.
Mining names Freeport-McMoRan and Newmont were the biggest laggards on the S&P 500 on Thursday, down 6.6% and nearly 4%, respectively.
On the upside, Moderna shares rose 1.4% after the company released more data on breakthrough COVID cases that supports the push for the wide use of vaccine booster shots.
Friday marks a key date for the market as the final third of September historically sees the worst performance of the month. The S&P 500 typically peaks around Sept. 17 before selling off into the end of September.
The day also coincides with the expiration for stock options, index options, stock futures and index futures — a quarterly event known as “quadruple witching” or “triple witching” — which can cause high trading volume.
August retail sales surprised the market and rose 0.7% from the month prior to the Census Bureau reported Thursday. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones expected a 0.8% month-over-month decline.
Meanwhile, the latest unemployment insurance weekly data showed 332,000 first-time jobless claims last week. Economists polled by Dow Jones expect a total of 320,000 initial claims.
History is also not on the market’s side as September tends to be a typically negative month for stocks. The S&P 500 has fallen 0.6% during the month on average since 1945, according to data from CFRA.
Prices for 10-Year Treasurys subsided, raising yields to 1.34% from Wednesday’s 1.30%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.
Oil prices fell but two cents to $72.59 U.S. a barrel.
Gold prices slipped $40.80 to $1,754.00 U.S. an ounce.