Canadian stock market falls on eve of OPEC meeting

TORONTO, Nov. 29 (Xinhua) -- Canada's main stock market in Toronto were weighed down on Tuesday by falling crude oil prices ahead of a meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) members on limiting crude oil supply.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's benchmark Standard &Poor's/TSX Composite Index lost 15.55 points, or 0.10 percent, to close the day at 14,999.81 points. Three of the sub-sectors ended the session in negative territory.

For a second straight day, energy stocks took the biggest hit, dipping 2.38 percent a day before OPEC members will formally gather in Vienna in the hopes of reaching an agreement to control the global supply of crude oil. A barrel of Brent crude oil slipped 3.33 percent to close the day at 46.42 U.S. dollars.

Shares of Calgary-based energy firms Baytex Energy Corp. and Encana Corporation fell 2.95 percent and 2.20 percent, respectively.

Also losing ground on the day were Materials and Utilities groups, retreating 0.73 percent and 0.28 percent, respectively.

The materials group, which is made up of producers of gold, precious metals and fertilizers, slumped following drops in the prices of zinc and copper. A pound of zinc slipped 4.04 cents to 1.217 U.S. dollars, while the same weight of copper dipped 7.21 cents to 2.572 U.S. dollars.

As a result, miners First Quantum Minerals Ltd. and Lundin Mining Corporation shares fell 7.24 percent and 5.18 percent, respectively.

Heavyweight Financials group were among the winners, rising 0.63 percent, as shares of Bank of Nova Scotia, Canada's third largest bank, jumped 1.63 percent to 73.70 Canadian dollars (54.85 U.S. dollars) after posting strong fourth quarter financials.

Compared with the same quarter last year, the Halifax-based financial institution saw net income rise 9.11 percent to 2.01 billion Canadian dollars (about 1.50 billion U.S. dollars).

The company's international banking division, which services the regions of Caribbean and Central America, Latin America, and Asia saw an 9.75 percent growth in net income to 619 million Canadian dollars (about 461 million U.S. dollars) compared to the same quarter last year.

"International Banking delivered strong results, with annual earnings exceeding 2 billion Canadian dollars for the first time. Our strong results were driven by the key Pacific Alliance region which again recorded double digit deposit," said President and CEO, Brian Porter, in a press release.

Other groups that finished in the green on the day were Health Care (2.65 percent), Information Technology (0.94 percent), Consumer Staples (0.75 percent), Consumer Discretionary (0.49 percent), Telecommunications (0.41 percent), and Industrials (0.20 percent).

On the economic side, Statistics Canada reported that Canada's balance of international payments in the third quarter of 2016 decreased 4.25 percent to a deficit of 18.3 billion Canadian dollars, compared to three months prior.

Meanwhile, the province of British Columbia's Ministry of Finance reported that residential real estate purchases by foreigners in the area of Metro Vancouver rose to 3.0 percent in October, compared to September's 1.8 percent.

Despite the increase, October's figure is still well below the 13.2 percent the region experienced prior to the implementation of a 15 percent property transfer tax on non-residents in August.

The Canadian dollar fell to 0.7442 U.S. dollars, compared with Monday's closing rate of 0.7451.

[ Editor: Jiaming ]


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