Canada's main stock market dropped Thursday as disappointing German economic data revived investors' speculation about Europe's economic health and the global economic recovery.
Toronto Stock Exchange's benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index was down 205.87 points, or 1.40 percent, to 14,460.60 points, with seven of the eight main sectors in the red.
Investors digested a third report this week showing a deceleration in the German economy. The Federal Statistical Office reported Thursday that German exports in August suffered their biggest monthly fall since January 2009, declining by 5.8 percent to 84,100 million euros in August, adding to a recent spate of dismal economic indicators from Europe's largest economy.
The latest batch of negative data pushed lower TSX energy prices, which went down 2.76 percent to 265.26 Canadian dollars, reflecting a 1.54-U.S dollar drop in the price of November crude oil contract in New York to 85.77 U.S. dollars per barrel on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. fell 1.76 percent to 39.06 Canadian dollars, and Suncor Energy Inc. lost 1.91 percent to 37.51 Canadian dollars.
Metals & mining dipped 4.34 percent to 719.48 Canadian dollars. Shares of diversified miner Teck Resources Ltd. faded 6.41 percent to 18.09 Canadian dollars to a five-year low after China, the world's top coal importer, said it will levy import tariffs on the commodity. Ithaca Energy Inc. tumbled 9.90 percent to 1.73 Canadian dollars, after the company said it lowered its pro-forma production outlook for 2014.
Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, were down 0.35 percent to 250.48 Canadian dollars with Bank of Nova Scotia slipping 0.19 percent to 69.02 Canadian dollars and Royal Bank of Canada dropping 0.30 percent to 80.75 Canadian dollars.
Only the telecom sector rose 0.16 percent to 120.96 Canadian dollars with BCE Inc. advancing 0.21 percent to 48.24 Canadian dollars, and TELUS Corp. up 0.15 percent to 39.16 Canadian dollars.
Other TSX sectors were lower at the outset, as health care shares declined 2.33 percent to 94.73 Canadian dollars, industrials shed 2.20 percent 185.30 Canadian dollars, and Info- tech lost 0.61 percent to 40.63 Canadian dollars.
In other corporate news, Canadian Tire Corp. expects to make an average annual capital investment of 575 million Canadian dollars from 2015-2017, including significant new investments in digital technology and an expansion and upgrade of the company's store network. The company also announced that it intends to buy back an additional 400 million dollars of the company's Class A Non-Voting Shares through to the end of 2015, subject to regulatory approval. The stock jumped 3.07 percent to 120.67 Canadian dollars.
On Thursday, Statistics Canada reported that the New Housing Price Index rose 0.3 percent in August, following no change in July. The increase was the largest since January and mainly the result of strong gains in Ontario and Alberta.
In the currency market, the Canadian dollar went up Thursday to 0.8962 U.S dollar from 0.8928 U.S dollar Wednesday.