Negative Finish for Markets

Constellation, Ballard Take Lump

Canada's main stock index moved lower on weak data from China, though a jump in health-care stocks led by Canopy Growth limited losses.

The TSX Composite Index fell 46.12 points to close Monday at 16,950.85

The Canadian dollar inched up 0.12 cents to 75.59 cents U.S.

Tech stocks were battered, with Constellation Software taking the brunt of it, sidling lower $48.02, or 3.6%, to $1,303.66, while Celestica lost 15 cents, or 1.5%, to $9.96.

In the gold patch, Centerra Gold dipped 32 cents, or 3.1%, to $10.07, while Novagold slipped 25 cents, or 2.7%, to $8.90.

Industrials also fared below, while Ballard Power Systems slid 29 cents, or 3.3%, to $8.38, while Transcontinental dropped 44 cents, or 3.3%, to $13.10.

Canopy Growth jumped $3.52, or 14.2%, to $28.24, and was the biggest percentage gainer on the TSX, after the company named Constellation Brands Chief Financial Officer David Klein as its chief executive officer, effective Jan. 14.

Elsewhere among health-care stocks, HEXO took on 23 cents, or 8.2%, to $3.02.

On the economic slate, Statistics Canada said building permits decreased 1.5% to $8.3 billion in October. The agency said declines were reported in five provinces, with the largest decrease in British Columbia (-21.2% to $1.3 billion).

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation reported that housing starts in Canada were 219,047 units last month, compared to 218,253 units in October, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

This trend measure is a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates of housing starts.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange slid 0.33 points to 537.49

In Toronto, all but one of the 12 subgroups finished lower, with information technology regressed 0.7%, while gold and industrials were down 0.6% each

Only health-care pointed upward, and 4.2% at that.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks fell for the first time in four sessions on Monday as investors took a pause after a sharp rally in the previous session.

The Dow Jones Industrials doffed 105.32 points to 27,909.74, for its first decline in four days. Apple fell 1.4% to lead the Dow lower.

The S&P 500 slouched 9.95 points to 3,135.96

The NASDAQ skidded 34.7 points to 8,621.83.

In corporate news, Sanofi will acquire biotech company Synthorx for $2.5 billion, or $68 per share. The acquisition price represents a 172% premium from Synthorx’s close of $25.03 on Friday. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of next year.

Virgin Galactic shares jumped more than 12% after an analyst at Morgan Stanley initiated them with an overweight rating, citing the company’s potential to disrupt the airline industry.

During Monday’s session, investor focus turned back to the prospect of a limited trade agreement between the U.S. and China, with less than a week to go before Washington is set to impose even more tariffs on Chinese goods.

China Assistant Commerce Minister Ren Hongbin said Monday the country hopes to make a deal with the U.S. “as soon as possible.” Ren’s comment came after data showed Chinese exports fell for a fourth straight month in November, potentially increasing pressure on China to make a deal.

Prices for the 10-Year U.S. Treasury gained a bit of ground, lowering yields to 1.83% from Friday’s 1.84%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices remained negative 19 cents at $59.01 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices were unchanged at $1,465.10 U.S. an ounce.