Stocks tumble, but TSX gets some strength from bump in gold price
A man looks at an electronic stock board showing Japan's Nikkei 225 index at a securities firm in Tokyo on Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017. (AP / Eugene Hoshiko)
Aleksandra Sagan, The Canadian Press
Published Thursday, August 17, 2017 12:25AM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, August 17, 2017 4:54PM EDT
Stock markets tumbled Thursday, but the Toronto Stock Exchange's main index fared better than its U.S. counterparts due to the strength of gold and other commodities.
The S&P/TSX composite index dropped 48.57 points to 15,033.64.
South of the border, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 274.14 points to 21,750.73, while the S&P 500 shed 38.10 points to 2,430.01. The Nasdaq composite slipped 123.20 points to 6,221.91.
"I think on a relative basis, Canada's having, you know, actually quite a good day," said Tim Morton, senior vice-president at TD Wealth.
The Toronto index saw some of its losses offset by gains in gold stocks -- with the global gold sector leading the day's performance.
The December gold contract climbed US$9.50 to US$1,292.40 an ounce.
Gold is seen as a safe haven for investors and they turned to the commodity as American indices dipped and reports came in of a terrorist attack in Spain. A van killed a dozen people and injured others when it drove into pedestrians at the Las Ramblas promenade frequented by tourists.
American markets took a bigger hit than in Canada partly because political noise out of the country continued to unnerve people slightly, said Morton.
He added the U.S. markets have had a strong year and sometimes need a rest or sell-off to remain grounded.
The Canadian dollar was trading at an average price of 79.07 cents US, up 0.32 of a U.S. cent.
The September crude contract advanced 31 cents to US$47.09 per barrel. The September natural gas contract was up 3.9 cents to about US$2.93 per mmBTU and the September copper contract fell 1.6 cents to US$2.94 a pound.