Canada stocks end lower; housing data strengthen
SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- Equities fell Tuesday in Toronto, pressured by commodities and tech stocks, as investors discounted positive data on Canadian housing starts for June.
The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index (GSPTSE) stumbled 122.45 points, or 1.05%, to settle at 11,512.22.
"Sentiment for these sectors, particularly commodities, has been negatively affected on the day by the weaker-than-expected import numbers from China as well as yesterday's earnings report from Alcoa," said Elvis Picardo, vice president of research and portfolio manager at Global Securities.
Still, housing starts came in better than expected, with 222,700 annualized units, beating a market consensus of 205,000. In May, Canada saw 217,000 housing starts on a comparable basis.
Increases were driven by a spike in multifamily units, which rose by 4.1%, or 5,200, to 132,000.
"Tighter mortgage regulations will help to slow construction activity, although its impact will show up later in the year," wrote TD Securities strategist Mazen Issa in a note Tuesday.
"In the meantime, the Bank of Canada will have to remain vigilant if the recently announced regulations tightening the mortgage market fail to slow housing activity," Issa added.
"Research In Motion is a significant decliner after shareholders were not reassured about the company's prospects," said Picardo.
Losses fell in line with the U.S. tech sector, which performed poorly Tuesday following weak quarterly financial reports from chip makers
In corporate news, Bombardier Inc. confirmed a $764 million order from Latvian flag carrier Air Baltic Corp. for as many as 20 CSeries jets. The announcement boosted Class B shares of the Montreal-based company by 0.25%. Read more on the airplane maker's sale.
In currencies, the U.S. dollar rose modestly on its Canadian counterpart (USDCAD) , purchasing C$1.0226 vs. C$1.0191 on Monday.