Energy, materials drag TSX sharply lower
There was a triple-digit drop for the main TSX index Thursday as the energy and materials sectors declined more than 1.5 per cent and banking stocks were also under pressure.
Oil prices remained weak following US gasoline data and Libyan supplies coming back on stream. Meanwhile, the materials group weakened as gold lost its lustre before settling later in the session.
Wall Street was flat except for the Nasdaq as tech stocks gained to give the index a record high at the close. European indexes closed lower following the ECB’s decision to hold interest rates steady. Asian markets were mostly higher except Japan.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index closed down 143.1 (0.91 per cent)
The Dow Jones closed up 6.24 (0.03 per cent)
Oil is trending lower (Brent $51.68, WTI $49.24 at 4.45pm)
Gold is trending higher (1265.30 at 4.45pm)
The loonie is valued at U$0.7339
Home Capital recovers some losses after pension plan lifeline
Following a 64 per cent drop for Home Value stocks in the previous session, the lender recovered some of its losses Thursday.
It gained 34 per cent on the TSX as investors digested the news that it had secured a $2 billion line of credit for its Home Trust subsidiary from the Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan.
The loan is secured against a portfolio of mortgage loans held by Home Trust and the firm says it will take an initial $1 billion draw with a $100 million commitment fee and interest will be at 10 per cent for outstanding balances with a 2.5 per cent fee on undrawn funds.
Canadian wages stalled in February
There was little change in the weekly average wages of non-farm payroll workers in February compared to the previous month.
Statistics Canada says that year-over-year wages increased 1.5 per cent to $968 while average hours worked were down slightly from 32.9 hours a week in February 2016 to 32.6 in February 2017.
Healthcare, manufacturing and professional, scientific and technical roles saw the best gains while wages were little changed in other sectors.