TORONTO, Jan. 23 (Xinhua) -- Canada's main stock market in Toronto started the week lower, as declines in Energy and Health care stocks outweighed gold prices reaching a two-month high.
The Toronto Stock Exchange's benchmark Standard & Poor's/TSX Composite dropped 67.75 points, or 0.44 percent, to begin the week at 15,480.13 points. Eight of the 10 sub-sectors lost ground on the day.
Energy and Health Care groups saw the biggest declines on the falling, down 2.88 percent and 1.09 percent, respectively.
Contributing to energy's decline was the decline in crude oil, as Brent fell 11 cents to close at 55.32 U.S. dollars a barrel.
Shares of Calgary-based energy firms Canadian Natural Resources Limited and Encana Corporation saw respective dips of 4.20 percent and 1.70 percent on the day.
Also losing ground was Suncor Energy Inc., the country's largest petroleum company by market capitalization. Shares fell 1.92 percent to close at 41.47 Canadian dollars (31.26 U.S. dollars).
The TSX Health Care group was also hit hard, as Quebec-based Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. shares fell 5.50 percent to 18.56 Canadian dollars.
Other groups to finish Monday in negative territory were: Consumer Staples (0.68 percent), Consumer Discretionary (0.64 percent), Utilities (0.38 percent), Industrials (0.35 percent), Financials (0.20 percent), and Information Technology (0.18 percent).
The Financials group closed the day lower, as insurance firms struggled on the day. Shares of Sunlife Financial Inc. and Manulife Financial Corporation saw respective declines of 2.31 percent and 0.56 percent during the session.
The TSX Industrials group's retreat was primarily due to Montreal-based Bombardier Inc. shares falling 4.21 percent to 2.50 Canadian dollars. The stock was also the most actively traded on the market with more than 11.4 million shares exchanged.
With the majority of groups finishing lower, Materials and Telecommunications groups finished ahead, gaining 1.35 percent and 0.03 percent, respectively.
The TSX Materials Group, which is made up of producers of gold, precious metals, and raw materials, jumped up as the spot price of gold rose to its highest close since mid-November.
The price of bullion moved up 7.70 dollars to finish at 1,217.70 U.S. dollars an ounce. As a result, shares of gold miners Kinross Gold Corporation and Barrick Gold Corporation surged 4.39 percent and 3.59 percent, respectively.
Silver and copper also had a strong day. The price for an ounce of silver climbed 0.82 percent to 17.20 U.S. dollars, while a pound of copper rose 0.90 percent to finish the day at 2.6101 U.S. dollars.
Ivanhoe Mines Ltd., a Vancouver-based miner with projects in sub-Saharan African, saw shares soar 8.13 percent to 3.99 Canadian dollars after drill results in one of their mines in Democratic Republic of Congo will "significantly expand" expand the project. More than 8.5 million shares were traded, making it the third most exchanged stock on the day.
The Canadian dollar rose 0.34 cents to start the week at 0.7538 U.S. dollars.