The Canadian stock market closed slightly lower Monday with traders decreasing their trading intention ahead of forthcoming U.S. presidential election on Tuesday.
The S&P/TSX Composite index dropped 27.63 points, or 0.22 percent, to 12,352.78 while S&P/TSX Venture Composite index moved down 8.1 points, or 0.62 percent, to 1,301.93. The heavyweight energy, financial and industrial sectors all drifted lower, but losses were muted as traders cut back on trading due to the uncertain outcome of Tuesday's U.S. presidential election.
Both President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney were zipping across swing states on their final day of campaigning on Monday. Polls show the election will be neck and neck.
The general view of the election outcome on Wall Street which sets the tone for the Canadian market was that election will probably lead to fiscal and foreign policy change of the U.S. economy as well as the world. If Obama wins a second term in the White House, both U.S. economic growth and interest rates will stay low and it will favor owning bonds over stocks.
On the other hand, if Romney becomes the 47th U.S. President, investors reckon his policies will boost corporate profits and lift U.S. stock markets to new highs.
Awaiting the result, five of the eight sectors on the Toronto Stock Exchange closed down, led by energy sector. Oil giant Suncor Energy dropped 0.6 percent at 34.44 Canadian dollars per share. Financial stocks also led the market lower. Royal Bank of Canada lost 0.4 percent to 57.35 Canadian dollars per share, and Bank of Nova Scotia was down 0.4 percent to 54.44 Canadian dollars per share.
Other influential losers on the main index include Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Canada's biggest public drugmaker. The company reported a drop in quarterly net profit Friday, hurt by costs associated with its long string of acquisitions. Its shares were down 2.1 percent to 55.03 Canadian dollars apiece Monday.
Shares of Canadian mining company Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd shot up more than nine percent after the company announced the signing of an important power purchase agreement for its Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold mine in Mongolia.
On the economic slate, Statistics Canada reported that the value of building permits in October fell 13.2 percent to 6.5 billion Canadian dollars in September, following a 9.5 percent advance in August.
In currency, the Canadian dollar fell to trade at 1.0037 U.S. dollars at 5 p.m. local time (2200 GMT) on Monday, compared to 1. 0038 U.S. dollar Friday.