TSX falls as gold, oil and Canadian dollar drop; Wall Street positive

Toronto's Merus Labs International Inc. has announced a $60 million bought deal.

TORONTO – The Toronto stock exchange extended its losing streak to a third consecutive session Friday as the 3 of its most heavily weighted sectors fell amid declining commodity prices.

FP0328_S&PCOMP-big The S&P/TSX composite index was down 57.38 at 14,812.42 after an almost 60-point loss Thursday along with a triple-digit drop Wednesday. The Canada dollar seemed to be weaker, down 0.82 U.S. cents at 79.37 cents.

Chris King, portfolio manager at Morgan, Meighen and Associates, said the financials sector was pulled down by foreign investors shorting the stocks of Canadian banks.

\”The short interest has truly grown over the last little while,\” said King. \”Some individuals are anticipating that between real estate and energy corrections, the financials are likely to take a bruising, and that\’s why they\’re shorting them.\”

All three of the stock exchange\’s most heavily weighted sectors declined Friday, led by energy, which was down 0.91 percent to 216.57 points.

\”The last couple days we\’d some support within the oil sector, largely because of the potential for geopolitical events in the centre East, particularly Saudi Arabia and Yemen,\” said King. \”Now, today, oil\’s backing off a little so we\’re a little weak on the energy side.\”

The May crude oil contract was down $2.56 at US$48.87 a barrel around the New York Mercantile Exchange, after advancing for five straight sessions.
Financials declined 0.85 per cent to 242.87 while metals and mining was down 0.75 percent to 676.39.

The April gold bullion contract was down $5 at US$1,199.80 an oz.

In the U.S., markets were positive, using the Dow Jones industrial average up 34.43 points at 17,712.66, the Nasdaq 27.86 points higher at 4,891.22 and the S&P 500 advancing 4.87 suggests 2,061.02.FP0328_S&P500-big

Meanwhile, shares of BlackBerry (TSX:BB) were up 2.76 percent to $11.92 following the smartphone maker reported a small profit in the latest quarter.

The company earned US$28 million or five cents per be part of the quarter in contrast to a loss of US$423 million or 80 cents per share last year.

Shares in Bombardier (TSX:BBD.B) were down one cent to $2.50 following the company announced that entry into service of its new CSeries commercial aircraft could be delayed 2016.

South from the border, Federal Reserve chairwoman Janet Yellen said the U.S. central bank could begin gradually raising its key interest rate later this year thanks to continued improvement within the U.S. economy.

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