The Canadian market, which climbed to a new high Tuesday morning, retreated and slipped into negative territory subsequently and stayed weak right through the afternoon, weighed down by weak crude oil prices, concerns about inflation and geopolitical tensions.
The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index ended with a loss of 154.77 points or 0.7% at 21,930.83, slightly off the day’s low of 21,916.60. The index advanced to a new record high of 22,213.07 in early trades.
Energy, materials and healthcare shares declined sharply. Several stocks from technology and industrials sections too posted sharp losses. Consumer staples and communications shares moved higher.
The Healthcare Capped Index declined 2.61%. The Materials index fell 2.47% and the Energy Index shed 1.64%. The Information Technology and Industrials Indexes dropped 1.08% and 1.04%, respectively.
Lithium Americas Corp (LAC.TO) ended more than 10% down. First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO) and Teck Resources (TECK.B.TO) drifted down 5.7% and 5.5%, respectively.
TFI International (TFII.TO), Docebo Inc (DCBO.TO), Sprott Inc (SII.TO), Shopify Inc (SHOP.TO), Magna International (MG.TO), West Fraser Timber (WFG.TO), goeasy (GSY.TO) and Fairfax Financial Holdings (FFH.TO) lost 2.5 to 5.2%.
Dollarama Inc (DOL.TO), Loblaw Companies (L.TO), CGI Inc (GIB.A.TO), George Weston (WN.TO), Metro Inc (MRU.TO) and BCE Inc (BCE.TO) gained 1.8 to 3.25%.
In economic news, data released by Statistics Canada showed Canada posted a trade surplus of C$ 2.66 billion in February of 2022, narrowing from an upwardly revised 13-year high surplus of C$ 3.12 billion in the previous month.
Imports rose by 3.9% to C$ 56.1 billion in February, while exports increased by 2.8% to a record high of C$ 58.7 billion.
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