S&P/TSX composite down as CP Rail lower after announcing large U.S. acquisition

·3 min read

TORONTO — Canada's main stock index slipped to start the trading week as CP Rail's shares fell after reporting an acquisition of a U.S. rival.

The S&P/TSX composite index closed down 38.87 points to 18,815.13.

The industrials sector lagged as shares of the Calgary-based railway decreased 5.4 per cent a day after it announced a US$25 billion deal to buy Kansas City Southern Railway.

Canadian National Railway Co. lost 3.4 per cent, while Air Canada dropped 3.5 per cent.

"It's not uncommon in a big transaction for the purchaser to go down," said Colin Cieszynski, chief market strategist at SIA Wealth Management.

Health care dropped 2.2 per cent as cannabis producers Aurora Cannbis Inc. and Cronos Group Inc. were down 4.4 and 3.8 per cent, respectively.

Energy dropped 1.9 per cent despite slightly higher crude oil prices, with Enerplus Corp. down 4.9 per cent and Crescent Point Energy Corp. off 3.3 per cent.

The May crude oil contract was up 12 cents at US$61.56 per barrel and the April natural gas contract was up 4.7 cents at US$2.58 per mmBTU.

The Canadian dollar traded for 79.92 cents US compared with 79.96 cents US on Friday.

Financials and materials were also lower.

The April gold contract was down US$3.60 at US$1,738.10 an ounce and the May copper contract was up 2.65 cents at US$4.14 a pound.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 103.23 points at 32,731.20. The S&P 500 index was up 27.49 points at 3,940.59, while the Nasdaq composite was up 162.30 points at 13,377.54.

"The U.S. markets are having a really nice rebound, which is a good thing. For Canada, it looks like it's just kind of energy, banks and materials and those are our three biggest sectors are kind of holding us back today," Cieszynski said in an interview.

Technology was the biggest winner on the day, rising 2.1 per cent as bond yields eased after last week reaching their highest level since January 2020.

Cieszynski said markets were a little rattled by the moves higher because they didn't know how far they would climb.

"And so on a day like this where we're seeing it just kind of start to level off might be helping people to rebuild confidence a little bit and encourage people to dip back in."

The big beneficiary of the tech rally was Nasdaq while in Canada, Lighspeed POS Inc. jumped 3.2 per cent and Shopify Inc. was up 3.6 per cent.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 22, 2021.


Ross Marowits, The Canadian Press

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version included incorrect closing numbers for the U.S. stock exchanges.