Canada’s Stock Falls Paint Gloomy Economic Picture

Oil, bank and raw-materials are the biggest laggards in Canada for the first time since at least 1988, fueling concern the nation’s economy is fading just as the U.S. is taking off.  The three industries, which collectively account for two-thirds of the Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index, are the worst performers among 10 groups this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The nation’s largest banks joined oil and materials in a rout that erased 4.1 percent from the benchmark index in three days, including the biggest one-day retreat since June 2013.

The selloff in the biggest pillars of the Canadian equity market comes as data showing a weaker jobs market coupled with slowing exports suggest a tentative economic recovery. Banks have slumped as earnings last week collectively missed estimates amid declining trading revenue and sluggish consumer borrowing. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 Index has reached all-time highs on signs of accelerating growth.

“It is fair to assume that the recent slide does send a much more muted message for Canada’s economy than the generally brighter U.S. picture,” Doug Porter, chief economist at BMO Capital Markets in Toronto, wrote in a research note dated today. Porter said last month that Canada’s expansion in the next few quarters may be curbed by the drop in prices for crude oil.


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