Canada stocks fall as RIM hits lowest since 2003
SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- Toronto's benchmark equities index weakened Monday, shedding almost 1%, but a weather forecast managed to drive agriculture stocks higher.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index ($ISPTX) gave up 105.15 points to finish at 11,330.39. Dragging down the broader market was a 2.84% drop in the metals and mining sector (TTMN) , and faring even worse, the information technology (TTTK) slid 3.32%.
"The Canadian market is feeling the pain from low oil prices, deteriorating economic conditions from China, Europe and North America. With the market's heavy exposure to commodities these headwinds from the major economies are weighing on investor sentiment and prices," said Ian Nakamoto, director of research at MacDougall, MacDougall & MacTier Inc.
With crude oil trading below $80 a barrel in the past few sessions, analysts will need to trim earning outlooks for oil companies, said Nakamoto.
Oil futures for delivery in July slipped further Monday, ending the session to trade down 0.7% at $79.21 a barrel on the New York Mercantile exchange. Read more about oil.
"Until either central bankers and/or political leaders, European ones in particular, show some resolve to stimulate the economy, the outlook continues to be cloudy," said Nakamoto.
"The easiest thing for investors to do is sell and wait on the sidelines, despite share prices selling at relatively low valuation levels," he added.
Tech shares were also in the red Monday, with
Morgan Stanley analysts said that they "believe the next 6 to 9 months are likely filled with the competing factors of rapidly deteriorating fundamentals on the one hand and stories of potential strategic options on the other, leaving the stock pushed and pulled strongly in both directions."
RIM is expected to post its first-quarter results this Thursday.
On the upside were several gold stocks, helping lift the materials sector (TTMT) higher.
Gold futures settled higher 1.4% at $1,588.40 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Shares of Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan (POT) , the world's largest fertilizer maker, rose 2.08% after an analyst at Dahlman Rose & Co. upgraded the stock from sell to buy. Dahlman Rose also upgraded its rating for CF Industries (CF) , which subsequently gained 3.36%.
Buoying Potash and other agriculture stocks was a hot weather forecast and concerns for global supplies, driving corn futures (CZ2) upward 5.82%.
In currency trading Monday, Canada's dollar (USDCAD) fell 0.27%, with one greenback buying C$1.0292 vs. C$1.0263 Friday.