TSX Plunges Friday, Better on the Week

Baytex Blasted, Yamana Also Dives

Equities in Toronto enjoyed some relief on the week, but concerns over the coronavirus deepening, and its potential economic impact, weighed on markets Friday.

The TSX Composite Index dropped 683.43 points, or 5.1%, to end Friday and the week at 12,687.74. Even so, the index gained 7% on the week.

The Canadian dollar gained back 0.25 cents at 71.47 cents U.S.

Energy stocks were beaten up, most notably, Baytex Energy, down 4.3 cents, or 12.7%, to 29.25 cents. Enerflex faded 99 cents, or 16.2%, to $5.13.

Gold lost ground, as Alamos Gold fell 90 cents, or 10.9%, to $7.33, while Yamana Gold settled 48 cents, or 10.5%, to $4.10.

Materials also suffered, with Franco-Nevada dropping $14.17, or 9.2%, to $140.49, while TECK Resources skidding $1.55, or 14.6%, to $9.04.

Real-estate issues came out positive on the day, however, as Dream Officer REIT prospered $1.40, or 6.6%, to $22.73, while Northwest Health-Care Properties REIT off 51 cents, or 6%, to $9.05.

Also today, the Bank of Canada again was busy lowering rates, dropping its trendsetting rate to by half a percentage point to 0.25% after it started the month at 1.75%.

On the economic front, Statistics Canada reported that the average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees were $1,051 in January, up 0.6% from the previous month.

Year over year, earnings rose 4.0%. Non-farm payroll employees worked an average of 33.0 hours per week in January, up from both the previous month (32.8 hours) and January 2019 (32.6 hours).

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange 9.85 points, or 2.5%, to 388.58, a hike of 9% over the week.

All but one of the 12 TSX subgroups moved lower, with energy down 8.8%, gold down 6.7%, and materials off 6.3%.

Only real-estate held out against the negative tide, picking up 0.7%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks fell sharply on Friday, giving back some of the strong gains experienced in the previous three days to cap off another volatile week on Wall Street.

Sentiment took a hit as investors focused back on the coronavirus outbreak as the U.S. became the country with the most confirmed cases.

The Dow Jones Industrials lost 921.34 points, or 4.1%, on the day to 21,630.83.

The broader S&P 500 lost 88.6 points, or 3.4%, to 2,541.47,

The NASDAQ slipped 295.16 points, or 3.8%, to 7,502.38.

Boeing dropped 10.3% to lead the Dow lower. Chevron and Disney each fell more than 8%. Boeing fell after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the airplane maker won’t seek a government bailout.

Energy faded 6.9% and tech slouched 4.6%, and were the worst-performing sectors in the S&P 500. Energy was pressured by a 4.8% drop in crude prices.

Still, the major averages posted strong gains for the week. The Dow rose 12.8% week to date, its biggest one-week gain since 1938. The S&P 500 gained 10.3% this week for its best weekly performance since March 2009. The Nasdaq also had its biggest weekly gain in 11 years, rising 9.1%.

Despite the market’s weekly gains, the major averages were still more than 20% below the record highs set last month. Investors have been dumping riskier assets such as stocks amid uncertainty over the economic blow from the coronavirus.

Global cases of the coronavirus have surged to more than 542,700 with at least 85,996 in the U.S., according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

The U.S. has now overtaken China as the country with the most confirmed cases in the world. President Donald Trump held a phone call with Chinese leader Xi Jinping, saying the two countries are “working closely together” to fight the pandemic. Meanwhile, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has tested positive for the coronavirus.

Prices for the 10-Year U.S. Treasury gained sharply, causing yields to go south to 0.69% from Thursday’s 0.84%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices dipped $1.04 to $21.56 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices ditched $28.10 to $1,648.70 U.S. an ounce.