Toronto stocks dropped sharply on Monday, slipping away from the five-month high from the previous session. Worries over the swine flu raised fears of a slower global economic recovery.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index fell 154.68 points or 1.61% to move at 9,394.80. The decline was the first in five days for Canada's main index.
Energy stocks dropped 2.4% to lead the decliners. Nexen (NXY.TO) lost 4.3% after the stock was downgraded to Neutral to Buy at Dundee Securities. Canadian Oil Sands (COS.UN.TO) fell 3.3%, Encana (ECA.TO) dropped 2.5% and Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) fell 2.3%.
Light sweet crude for June delivery dropped to $50.14, down $1.41 on the session. Prices hit as low as $48.01 earlier in the morning.
Industrials are also down about 2.1%. Canadian National Railway (CNR.TO) dropped 2.6% and rival Canadian Pacific Railway (CP.TO) dropped 2.5% to lead the sector lower.
The Financial Index fell 2%. Scotiabank (BNS.TO) dropped 3.1%, Toronto-Dominion (TD.TO) fell 2.1% and CIBC (CM.TO) lost 1.8%.
In other corporate news, Thompson Creek Metals surged 10% after the stock was initiated at Overweight by JPMorgan Chase.
HudBay Minerals (HBM.TO) jumped 8.2% amid a report in the Globe and Mail that Indian mining company Lakomasko has purchased about 10% of the struggling Canadian zinc and copper producer.
Tundra Semiconductor (TUN.TO) soared 14.7% after the announcement it has received an all-cash buyout offer from Integrated Device Technology at a price of C$6.25 per share or about C$120.8 million.
Meanwhile, troubled automaker General Motors Corp. (GM) said Monday that it will cut 21,000 U.S. hourly jobs and reduce its U.S. dealer count by 42% by the end of 2010 under a revised viability plan meant to accelerate and deepen the restructuring of its U.S. operations, as the company races to stave off bankruptcy.
The number of confirmed swine flu cases in the U.S. reached 40, although the reported cases still remain relatively mild and do not appear to be life-threatening. The Center for Disease Control addressed the situation Monday in a press conference, urging Americans to postpone unnecessary travel plans to Mexico.
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