(Adds portfolio manager quotes and details on U.S. jobs data
and Bombardier and updates prices)
* TSX closes down 111.8 points, or 0.72 percent, at
* Energy sector falls nearly 4 percent
* Eight of the index's 10 main groups end lower
By Fergal Smith
TORONTO, March 8 Canada's benchmark stock index
fell more than 100 points on Wednesday as a sharp drop in oil
prices weighed on energy shares, while the financial and
industrial groups also lost ground.
U.S. crude prices settled more than 5 percent lower
at $50.28 a barrel as U.S. crude inventories surged to a record
high, stoking concerns that a global glut could persist.
Major energy company Canadian Natural Resources Ltd
fell 4.6 percent to C$39.43, while the overall energy sector
tumbled nearly 4 percent, posting its lowest close since
September. The sector is now down 12 percent since the start of
The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
closed down 111.8 points, or 0.72 percent, at
15,496.98. It was just the second time the index has fallen by
more than 100 points since January.
"With the threat of interest rates possibly rising and the
fact that markets have run so far, particularly over the past
few months, we wouldn't be surprised to see some sort of
correction in here somewhere along the line," said Michael
Sprung, president at Sprung Investment Management.
U.S. private sector job growth recorded its biggest
increase in more than a year in February. Signs of sustained
labor market strength, if confirmed by the U.S. government's
closely followed monthly employment report on Friday, could
encourage the Federal Reserve to hike interest rates next week.
"Valuations are just getting a little stretched and it is
getting very difficult to find things that we would want to buy
in this market. If anything we have been more of a net seller
lately," Sprung said.
The heavyweight financials group dipped 0.2 percent even as
bond yields climbed, while industrials retreated 0.6 percent,
with Bombardier falling heavily for a third straight day.
Bombardier shares were down 5.8 percent at C$2.10, the
lowest close this year.
Eight of the index's 10 main groups ended lower, with the
materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners
and fertilizer companies, dipping 0.1 percent.
Copper prices slipped to a one-month low and gold hit a
five-week low as the U.S. dollar gathered strength on the
prospect of a U.S. rate hike.
Still, some gold stocks climbed, with Barrick Gold Corp
up 0.9 percent at C$24.06.
Financial technology company DH Corp fell 5.1
percent to C$23.28 after it posted lower quarterly adjusted
revenue and declined to provide a 2017 forecast.
(Additional reporting by Alastair Sharp; Editing by Leslie