Toronto market hit six week low as oil prices slide

FILE PHOTO: The facade of the original Toronto Stock Exchange building is seen in Toronto

By Fergal Smith

(Reuters) -Canada's main stock index fell on Wednesday to its lowest closing level in six weeks, tracking declines on Wall Street and weighed by losses for resource shares as commodity prices fell.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index ended down 59.31 points, or 0.3%, at 20,193.33, its fourth straight day of declines and its lowest closing level since Jan. 11.

"To me, it is a general decline in equity markets," said Colin Cieszynski, chief market strategist at SIA Wealth Management. "The selloff in the oil price isn't helping either."

Wall Street also closed lower, with traders cautious despite the latest guidance on rate policy from the U.S. central bank showing few surprises.

Still, a Reuters poll showed that the TSX will add to its rally this year and hit a record high in 2024 as the Bank of Canada turns less hawkish and China's reopening boosts demand for commodities but the upswing will be less than previously thought.

The Toronto market's energy sector fell 1.2% on Wednesday as oil settled 3.2% lower at $73.95 per barrel.

The materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, lost 0.8%. Gold was down 0.5% at about $1,826 per ounce.

Teck Resources Ltd added to its previous day's decline, falling 2.6%.

Shares of Gildan Activewear Inc were a bright spot, rising 5.8% after the company reported quarterly results.

The consumer discretionary sector rose 0.6%, while consumer staples ended 0.9% higher.

(Reporting by Fergal Smith; Additional reporting by Shristi Achar A in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber and Alistair Bell)