Canada’s main stock index fell on Wednesday, led by losses in industrial stocks, while materials gained after better-than-expected economic data from top consumer China brightened the demand outlook.
At 10:00 a.m. ET (14:00 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index (.GSPTSE) was down 110.54 points, or 0.56%, at 19,582.26.
The industrials (.GSPTTIN) were the biggest losers among sectors, set to log their worst day in three weeks with a 1.4% decline.
The materials sector (.GSPTTMT), which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, climbed 0.5% as gold prices jumped 1% on fears of an escalation in the Middle East conflict.
Higher copper and other base metals also supported the sector after China’s economy grew 4.9% in July-September from the year earlier, beating analysts’ forecasts.
Heavyweight energy stocks (.SPTTEN) added 0.4% as the Brent hit $93 a barrel with the risk of rising tensions in the Middle East threatening to disrupt oil supplies from the region.
Canada’s housing starts unexpectedly rose in September, climbing 8% compared with the previous month, as groundbreaking increased on multi-unit and single-family-detached projects.
“In Canada, we’ve been in a housing bubble so far and the banks are highly levered to the real estate sector. The longer interest rates stay this high just confirms that mortgage holders and the banks are in trouble,” said Matt Manara, partner & portfolio manager at Aventine Investment Management.