TORONTO, Feb. 6 (Xinhua) -- Canada's main stock market in Toronto opened the week slightly lower, as decline in energy stocks outpaced gold prices reaching a 12-week high.
The Toronto Stock Exchange's benchmark Standard & Poor's/TSX Composite ticked down 19.45 points, or 0.13 percent, to begin the week at 15,456.94 points. Seven of the 10 sub-groups ended the session in negative territory.
The Energy group continued its slump in 2017, falling 2.21 percent on the day after crude oil prices suffered its biggest single-day decline in five weeks. Since the beginning of the year, the group has dropped 9.95 percent.
Monday's dip was fueled by a strong U.S. dollar and speculation that American inventory was on the rise. A barrel of Brent for April delivery retreated 1.69 percent to 55.86 U.S. dollars, while on New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate crude for March slipped 1.30 percent to close at 53.13 U.S. dollars.
As a result of the price drop, Calgary-based energy firms Baytex Energy Corp. and Encana Corporation slumped 4.97 percent and 1.53 percent, respectively.
Also making news was Scotland-based Ithaca Energy Inc. shares rising 11.49 percent to 1.94 Canadian dollars (1.48 U.S. dollars) after the firm's Board of Directors unanimously supported a takeover by Delek Group Ltd, one of Israel's largest companies.
Other groups to lose ground on the day were: Consumer Staples (0.67 percent), Industrials (0.60 percent), Information Technology (0.23 percent), Consumer Discretionary (0.17 percent), Utilities (0.11 percent), and Financials (0.02 percent).
The TSX IT group edged down despite Waterloo-based Blackberry Limited shares rising 0.77 percent to 9.18 Canadian dollars after announcing a mobile licensing deal with an Indian firm.
The Financials group finished the day slightly down, as insurance firms Manulife Financial Corporation and Sun Life Financial Inc. slipped 0.77 percent and 0.32 percent, respectively.
On the bright side, three groups finished higher to help offset the losses on Monday, as Materials soared 2.49 percent, Health Care climbed 1.44 percent, and Telecommunications ticked 0.16 percent.
The Materials group, which is comprised of producers of gold, precious metals, and raw materials, thrived on the day as investors faced global uncertainty. The spot price of gold leaped 15.70 dollars to close at 1,235.20 U.S. dollars an ounce, its highest closing rate since Nov. 10.
Nine of the 15 most traded stocks on the day belonged to the group. At the top of the list with nearly 9 million shares exchanged was Vancouver-based miner B2Gold Corp., which saw an 8.40 percent uplift to close at 4.39 Canadian dollars (3.36 U.S. dollars).
Kinross Gold Corporation and Yamana Gold Inc. also finished with strong gains, rising 5.69 percent and 5.42 percent, respectively.
The TSX Health Care group, which is made up of firms that specialize in pharmaceuticals and long-term care, saw all five group members finish ahead on the day.
Laval-based drugmakers Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. and ProMetic Life Sciences Inc. saw the biggest gains, with respective jumps of 3.07 percent and 1.90 percent.
The Canadian dollar fell 0.33 cents to close the day at 0.7643 U.S. dollars.