TSX Sags by Noon

Klondex Jumps on Hecla Purchase

Equities in Canada’s largest market fell triple digits midday Monday, led by the materials and energy sectors as oil prices slipped, and investors were cautious ahead of a near-certain U.S. interest rate hike this week.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index faltered 108.35 points to greet noon at 15,602.98

The Canadian dollar eked up 0.07 cents at 76.43 cents U.S.

The largest percentage gainer on the TSX was Canopy Growth, which rose 78 cents, or 2.4%, to $33.30 while the largest decliner was First Quantum Minerals, down 78 cents, or 3.5%, to $20.46.

Among the most active Canadian stocks by volume were Neovasc Inc., which tailed off half a cent, or 2.9%, to 17 cents, while Klondex Mines climbed $1.12, or 62.2%, to $2.92, after U.S. miner Hecla Mining Co said it would buy the company in a $462 mln cash-and-stock deal.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange remained buoyant 2.58 points to 836.25

All but three of the 12 TSX subgroups lost ground, with energy and materials each shedding 1.2%, while information technology ticked lower 1%.

The three gainers were consumer staples, improving 0.5%, real-estate, edging up 0.3%, and utilities, better by 0.1%.

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. stocks pulled back on Monday as a decline in Facebook pressured the technology sector. Wall Street also paid attention to Washington after a Twitter meltdown from President Donald Trump.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 303.62 points, or 1.2%, to 24,642.89, with Caterpillar as the worst-performing stock in the index.

The S&P 500 tumbled 40.1 points, or 1.5%, to 2,711.91, with tech sliding nearly 2%. Facebook was the worst-performing stock in the broad index, sliding 7.1%.

The NASDAQ composite Index slouched 84.71 points, or 1.1%, to 7,397.76

Facebook fell after reports said political analytics firm Cambridge Analytica was able to collect data on 50 million people's profiles without their consent. Cambridge Analytica worked on Facebook ads with President Donald Trump's campaign in 2016.

On Sunday morning, Trump accused Special Counsel Robert Mueller of hiring "hardened Democrats" to probe alleged ties between his 2016 presidential campaign and Russia. Mueller is a Republican who has held appointments under Democratic and GOP presidents.

The Federal Reserve is expected to raise interest rates on Wednesday with new Fed chief Jerome Powell giving his first press conference.
Market expectations for a March rate hike were at 94.4% as of Monday morning

Prices for the benchmark 10-year Treasury note regrouped, lowering yields to Friday’s 2.84%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices backtracked 62 cents a barrel to $61.72 U.S.

Gold prices brightened $5.40 to $1,317.70 U.S. an ounce.