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Canada, U.S. stocks slip into the red but precious metals mitigate fall in Toronto

Last Updated Apr 26, 2018 at 8:20 am PDT

The TSX ticker is shown in Toronto on May 10, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

TORONTO – U.S. markets sank deeply into the red Tuesday, while precious metals and the materials sector helped mitigate the fall at Canada’s main stock index.

The S&P/TSX composite index closed down 75.06 points to 15,477.

In the U.S., the Dow Jones industrial average plunged by 424.56 points to close at 24,024.13. The S&P 500 index closed down 35.73 points to 2634.56 and the Nasdaq composite index closed down 121.25 points to 7,007.35.

Underlying the selloff in U.S. markets was the benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury yield touching the “psychological level” of three per cent, said Luc de la Durantaye, managing director of asset allocation and currency at CIBC Asset Management.

“That probably unnerves the market a little bit,” he said.

He added that concerns over U.S. interest rates were further compounded by investor concerns about specific companies, such as Google parent Alphabet, whose shares slid nearly five per cent on higher-than-expected capital spending.

In Canada, however, the materials and gold sector remained buoyant. Barrick Gold Corp. shares were up more than three per cent Tuesday on better-than-expected quarterly earnings and the Toronto-based miner’s announcement that it is no longer selling off assets to pay down debt.

“Gold is up… That’s certainly helping the market to stay afloat a bit better than in the U.S.,” said de la Durantaye.

The Canadian dollar was trading at 77.95 cents US, up from an average value of 77.92 cents US on Monday.

The June gold contract was up US$9 to US$1333 an ounce and the May copper contract was up three cents to US$3.14 a pound.

The June crude contract was down 94 cents to US$67.70 per barrel and the June natural gas contract was up four US cents to US$2.81 per mmBTU.