After opening flat, the Canadian stock market drifted lower Tuesday morning, and is languishing in negative territory a little past noon, weighed down by losses in energy, technology and consumer sector shares.
Uncertainty about additional stimulus in the U.S. due to stiff opposition from GOP lawmakers appears to be forcing investors to stay cautious and refrain from creating fresh long positions.
Worries about surging coronavirus cases and likely delay in vaccine supplies also contributed to the weakness in the market.
Investors are looking ahead to the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy announcement, due on Wednesday.
The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index was down 122.50 points or 0.7% at 17,783.52 about a quarter past noon.
The Capped Energy Index is sliding 2.8%. Vermilion Energy (VET.TO) is down 5.6%, Crescent Point Energy (CPG.TO) is declining 4.4% and Whitecap Resources (WCP.TO) is lower by about 4%, while Imperial Oil (IMO.TO), Tourmaline Oil Corporation (TOU.TO), MEG Energy (MEG.TO), Cenovus Energy (CVE.TO) and Parex Resources (PXT.TO) are down 3 to 3.7%.
Technology stocks Sierra Wireless (SW.TO), Docebo Inc. (DCBO.TO), BlackBerry (BB.TO), Enghouse Systems (ENGH.TO), Shopify Inc. (SHOP.TO) and Constellation Software (CSU.TO) are declining 2 to 3.1%.
Among consumer discretionary stocks, Magna International (MG.TO), Linamar Corporation (LNR.TO), Canadian Tire Corporation (CTC.A.TO), Gildan Activewear (GIL.TO), Martinrea International (MRE.TO), Sleep Country Canada Holdings (ZZZ.TO) and Aritzia Inc (ATZ.TO) are down 1.3 to 2.5%.
Canada Goose Holdings (GOOS.TO) and Brp Inc. (DOO.TO) are gaining 2.3% and 1.6%, respectively.
First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO), down more than 6%, is the biggest loser in the Materials Index. Hudbay Minerals (HBM.TO) is down nearly 6%. Ero Copper (ERO.TO), Methanex Corp (MX.TO), Lundin Mining (LUN.TO), Teck Resources (TECK.B.TO) and Yamana Gold (YRI.TO) are down 2.5 to 5%.
In the financial section, Onex Corp (ONEX.TO), CDN Western Bank (CWB.TO), Power Corporation of Canada (POW.TO), Manulife Financial (MFC.TO) and Sun Life Financial (SLF.TO) are down 1 to 2.3%, while Fairfax Financial Holdings (FFH.TO) is gaining about 2.3%.
Aphria Inc.(APHA.TO), up nearly 7%, hogs the limelight in the healthcare section. Canopy Growth Corporation (WEED.TO) is up 6.7%, while Cronos Group (CRON.TO) and Aurora Cannabis (ACB.TO) are gaining 4.2% and 4%, respectively.
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