The Canadian stock market closed lower on Tuesday amid worries that economic momentum is faltering in the United States and China.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index tumbled 83.21 points, or 0.69%, at 11,935.06 after four straight trading days of losses while the S&P/TSX Venture Composite Index was off 17.55 points, or 1.21%, at 1,431.10.
Slower growth in China was in focus on Canadian market on Tuesday after the world's second-biggest economy returned to a trade surplus in March but growth in exports and imports was weak. China's exports rose 8.9% over a year earlier to 165.6 billion U.S. dollars, while imports grew 5.3% to 160.3 billion U.S. dollars.
Double-digit economic growth in China has been key to lifting the global economy from the sharp economic slowdown that followed the 2008 financial crisis. And strong demand for commodities has lifted prices for energy and metals and mining stocks on the resource-heavy Canadian stock market.Canadian stock market also finished in the red on Tuesday as traders reacted to Friday's release of U.S. jobs data showing the United States created only 120,000 jobs last month, far less than the approximately 200,000 that economists expected.
Economic worries have driven the Canadian stock market lower for the past five weeks.
The energy sector suffered as oil prices fell below 101 U.S. dollars a barrel Tuesday as weaker economic growth raised the prospect that crude oil demand will remain tepid. Suncor Energy lost more than 2% to well below 30 Canadian dollars per share. Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. shares dropped 1.2% to 31.29 Canadian dollars.Telecom and industrial stocks were both among major decliners with Canadian National Railways dropped 55 Canadian cents to 77.16 Canadian dollars.
The base metals and mining sector benefitted, even though copper prices were down at 3.66 U.S. dollars a pound after falling almost 5% over the past week. Teck Resources Ltd. shares gained 1% to 34.80 Canadian dollars.
The financial sector struggled as most shares traded lower. Shares of Toronto-Dominion Bank dropped 0.6% to 82.76 Canadian dollars. Manulife Financial Corp. fell 2.9% to 12. 36 Canadian dollars.
On the currency front, the Canadian dollar lost 0.07 of a U.S. cent to 100.42 U.S. cents as demand concerns pushed oil prices lower for a second day. One U.S. dollar was buying 0.9958 Canadian dollars at 5 p.m. local time (2200 GMT) on Tuesday, compared with one U.S. dollar purchasing 0.9965 Canadian dollars on Monday.