TSX Hold Gains… Barely!

Stocks in Canada’s largest centre aped their American cousins Tuesday in a volatile session that wiped out gains numbering in the hundreds, as many people wondered if the apex of the coronavirus epidemic was nearing.

The TSX Composite Index managed to face the closing bell positive but only 21.44 points at 13,614.44, after gains totalling more than 500 points earlier on.

The Canadian dollar gained 0.74 cents to 71.45 cents U.S.

Real-Estate stocks managed to hold gains, most notably, H&R REIT, whose units sprouted $1.06, or 12.5%, to $9.52, while Dream Industrial REIT, up 78 cents, or 8.5%, to $9.91.

Among financial stocks, Genworth MIC gained $3.96, or 14.7%, to $30.95, while Alaris tacked on 92 cents, or 11.9%, to $8.68.

In the industrial field, Chorus Aviation gained 35 cents, or 15.3%, to $2.64, while Mullen Group picked up 45 cents, or 11.1%, to $4.50.

Golds were the heaviest of the laggards, Wesdome dumping 32 cents, or 4.2%, to $8.02, while Centerra Gold lost 42 cents, or 4.7%, to $8.54

In materials, Pretium Resources skidded 42 cents, or 4.4%, to $9.05, while Silvercorp Metals backpedaled 14 cents, or 2.6%, to $4.82.

Tech also felt the bruises, with Shopify taking a clobbering of $23.51, or 4.2%, to $530.43, while Open Text Corp. settled $1.57, or 3%, to $50.22.

On the economic calendar, Western University’s IVEY School of Business’ Purchasing Managers’ Index tumbled to 26.0 in March, far below the 54.1 reading in February and the 54.3 level it displayed in March 2019.

Elsewhere, a special Bank of Canada survey showed Canadian firms in the accommodation, food services and recreation sectors have already seen demand collapse during the coronavirus outbreak, while other sectors are still bracing for a looming economic hit.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange stayed positive 3.36 points to 402.55.

Eight of the 12 TSX subgroups stayed aloft on the day, with real-estate gaining 3.5%, and financials richer 1.5%, and industrial stronger 1.4%.

The four laggards were gold, dulling in price 2.3%, materials, down 1.3% information technology, sliding 0.7%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks closed lower on Tuesday, giving up a massive rally from earlier in the day, as Wall Street assessed the latest news on the coronavirus outbreak.

The Dow Jones Industrials gave up gains of as much as 900 points at one time, and lost 26.13 to 22,653.80.

The S&P 500 docked 4.27 points to 2,659.41

The NASDAQ Composite dropped 25.98 points to 7,887.26

Some investors believed stock prices were getting ahead of the reality where coronavirus shutdowns are likely to weigh on the economy significantly beyond the second quarter. The major averages have rallied about 20% from their March 23 lows.

The major averages rallied earlier in the day as investors cheered positive developments on the coronavirus.

In the U.S., the number of new cases appears to have fallen in recent days from their recent peak. On Tuesday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo reported the state’s biggest one-day jump in deaths, but also said hospitalizations are slowing. Italy and Spain, two of the hardest-hit countries, are also seeing new cases fall off.

In Asia, South Korea reported less than 50 new cases of infection for the second day running. China also posted no new deaths as of April 6 for the first time since January when it started publishing daily updates.

The two Asian countries were among those which saw spikes in infection rates earlier in the outbreak, with the first cases being reported out of China.

Still, the cases in the U.S., the world’s most affected country, topped 386,000 with at least 10,000 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Prices for the 10-Year U.S. Treasury lost ground, lifting yields to 0.73% from Monday’s 0.67%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices sank $1.97 to $24.11 U.S. a barrel. Gold prices ditched $11.00 to $1,682.90 U.S. an ounce.

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