The Canadian stock market fell for the second day on Thursday, touching a one-week low after early gains in the morning and moving lower amid worries about the worsening European debt crisis.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index closed down 47.35 points, or 0.4 percent, at 12108.87, sliding with commodity prices and hurt by investor uncertainty over Europe's ability to handle its debt crisis. The S&P/TSX Venture Composite Index was slightly up 3.56 points, or 0.22 percent, at 1624.56.
Even though oil prices on Thursday morning recovered from sharp drops a day earlier, worries about the European debt crisis that would push the fragile global economy into recession slashed demand for oil and metals, preventing the stock prices on the resource-heavy TSX from going higher.
As lower copper and other base metals prices pulled down the heavily-weighted materials sector, Canadian stocks extended losses and fell more than 1 percent midday.
Four of TSX's main sectors were in red, lowered by materials and financial stocks.
Metal prices dropped with the December copper contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange down to 3.36 U.S. dollars a pound following a 9-cent slide on Wednesday. Base metal and mining sector on the TSX fell 2.48 percent, led by First Quantum Minerals which shed 7.89 percent to 18.20 dollars. Teck Resources was up 20 cents to 37.75 dollars.
The index measuring the energy sector gained ground with Suncor Energy improving 0.17 cents to 31.61 dollars after reporting an oilsands production rise in 2012, which has been shadowed by the worsening European debt crisis on Wednesday.
The financial sector continued to step back with the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce suffering the biggest drag, falling 1.2 percent to 71.78 dollars.
On the economic front, Statistics Canada reported a trade surplus for the first time since last January. Canadian merchandise exports increased 4.2 percent in September, with imports dropping 0.3 percent.
Helping to offset losses, the U.S. jobless data released on Thursday declined for the second week to its lowest level since April.
On the currency front, the Canadian dollar regained 0.46 cents to 98.13 cents against the U.S. dollar. One U.S. dollar was buying 1.0175 Canadian dollars at 5 p.m. local time (2200 GMT) on Thursday, compared with the 1.0229 Canadian dollars on Wednesday.