TSX slips, set to finish 2021 with best jump in 12 years

·2 min read
The facade of the original Toronto Stock Exchange building is seen in Toronto

By Amal S

(Reuters) - Canada's main stock index fell in thin trading on Friday, but was on course to mark its best year since 2009 thanks to massive stimulus, COVID-19 vaccine rollouts and hopes of global economic recovery.

At 9:40 a.m. ET (14:40 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was down 29.96 points, or 0.14%, at 21,264.68, with technology stocks leading losses.

The energy sector climbed 0.2%, even though U.S. crude prices were down 0.9% a barrel, while Brent crude lost 0.8%. [O/R]

The financials sector slipped 0.2%, while the industrials sector fell 0.3%.

Limiting losses were healthcare stocks that gained 0.4%, helped by pot shares Tilray Inc, Canopy Growth Corp, Aurora Cannabis Inc rising nearly 2% each.

The materials sector, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, added 0.1% as gold futures rose 0.7% to $1,825.6 an ounce.[GOL/]

The benchmark equity index has gained 22% so far this year, with energy stocks surging the most as oil prices rebounded from the pandemic-induced slump on reopening economies.

Healthcare stocks were the weakest as they have lost nearly 22% in 2021 due to tax-loss selling, mostly toward the end of the year.

"Generally speaking, 2021 has been a choppy year for markets. Sector action was very mixed, particularly through the middle part of the year which saw a series of rolling takedowns and rebounds," said Colin Cieszynski, chief market strategist at SIA Wealth Management.

HIGHLIGHTS

The TSX posted one new 52-week highs and no new lows.

Across all Canadian issues, there were 10 new 52-week highs and two new lows, with a total volume of 13.94 million shares.

(Reporting by Amal S in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.)

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