Nov. 26 (Reuters) – Canada’s main stock index was set to experience its biggest drop since late January on Friday, dragged down by a 6% drop in energy stocks as fears over a variant of the coronavirus may being resistant to vaccines lowered oil prices.

At 9:44 a.m. ET (2:44 p.m. GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S & P / TSX Composite Index (.GSPTSE) was down 365.66 points, or 1.69%, to 21,247.52.

The energy sector (.SPTTEN) was set to begin a four-day rally over concerns that the variant, which Britain has said scientists believe to be the most important found to date, could restrict travel and curb economic growth.

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“We can see the massive sell-off in global markets overnight with the news of the new COVID variant and travel restrictions by some countries in Europe,” said Colin Cieszynski, chief market strategist at SIA Wealth Management.

The benchmark stock index rally came to a halt last week due to falling commodity prices and a resurgence of COVID-19 in Europe that has led to further lockdowns in the region.

The financial sector (.SPTTFS), which accounts for about 30% of the index’s market value, fell 2.2%.

The materials sector (.GSPTTMT), which includes companies mining precious and base metals and fertilizers, lost 1.1% on weak copper prices.

But a 0.4% rise in gold futures helped limit the sector’s losses and put a floor below the benchmark.

“We could see a rally in gold today and you can see Canada is getting a cushion from gold stocks, which is why you see the Canadian index is not as low as the US index. United today, “said Cieszynski.

STRONG POINTS

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

Among all Canadian issues, there were four new 52-week highs and 23 new lows, with total volume of 70.77 million shares.

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Amal S report in Bangalore; Editing by Aditya Soni

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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