Canada’s main stock index fell again Wednesday as it continued to bob up and down on investor angst about the global economy and the outcome of Brexit.
The Toronto market bounced back Tuesday from two days of decreases sparked by fears that an inversion of the yield curve signalled a possible impending recession.
The S&P/TSX composite index closed down 22.63 points to 16,132.53 midweek as investor concerns we unabated, said Colin Cieszynski, chief market strategist at SIA Wealth Management.
“I think what we’re basically seeing today is people are kind of watching to see what happens with the broader economy globally,” he said in an interview.
“We’re at a point where nobody’s quite sure what to make of it all.”
The focus on Brexit accelerated as Prime Minister Theresa May vowed to move out of 10 Downing Street if her breakup plan is approved.
Investors initially considered Brexit a British risk, but they recently began to consider the impact on Germany and other European economies, he said.
The Toronto market sank to an intraday low of 16,079.07. It was dragged down by the health care sector that lost 2.64 per cent as shares of cannabis companies fell in the aftermath of an analyst downgrade of Cronos Group Inc.
The influential energy sector was down 1.7 per cent as oil prices retreated on a U.S. report that commercial crude inventories were higher than expected, increasing by 2.8 million barrels from the previous week’s large decrease.
The May crude contract was down 53 cents at US$59.41 per barrel and the May natural gas contract was down 3.2 cents at US$2.72 per mmBTU.
Materials and financials were also down, with several banks decreasing led by Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.
The April gold contract was down US$4.60 at US$1,310.40 an ounce and the May copper contract was up 0.9 of a cent at US$2.86 a pound.
The Canadian dollar traded at an average of 74.55 cents US compared with an average of 74.70 cents US on Tuesday.
In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 32.14 points at 25,625.59. The S&P 500 index was down 13.09 points at 2,805.37, while the Nasdaq composite was down 48.15 points at 7,643.38.
With a dearth of corporate earnings or economic news heading into the end of the first quarter, Cieszynski said investors are looking to economic reports next week including employment data for a market catalyst.