Morning Market Breakdown, March 22: Markets Seeing Red

- March 22nd, 2018

As oil prices dropped and US investors awaited a tariff announcement, both Canadian and American markets struggled in the red on Thursday morning.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index (INDEXTSI:OSPTX) closed on a high note Wednesday (March 21) with a boost of 58.92 points to end at 15,675.28.

Thursday (March 22) morning was less prosperous, however, as the index dropped 148.62 points to 15,526.66.

The S&P/TSX Venture Composite Index (INDEXTSI:JX) took a small hit on Wednesday when it dropped 0.06 points to close at 831.15. The TSXV staggered into Thursday morning, losing 7.15 points to reach 824. 

Energy shares continued to boost the TSX on Wednesday, as Enerplus (TSX:ERF) gained 7.9 percent while BNK Petroleum (TSX:BKX) picked up 13.2 percent. Gold was also a big help as Barrick Gold (TSX:ABX,NYSE:ABX) acquired 1.7 percent and Goldcorp (TSX:G,NYSE:GG) obtained 1.8 percent.

Wednesday saw a small loss for the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI), which fell 44.96 points to close at 24,682.31. Thursday morning it took an almost immediate tumble, fumbling 275.28 points to 24,407.03.

The S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) fell flat on Wednesday when it lost 5.01 points to close at 2,711.93. The S&P continued to struggle into Thursday morning as it lost its grip on 28.53 points, hitting 2,683.4.

US stocks took a small blow on Wednesday after the US Federal Reserve raised interest rates by 25 basis points and increased its rate hike forecast for 2019. Consumer staples dropped 1.3 percent, hitting the S&P, while Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) dragged down the Dow Jones.

Note: All numbers shown above were accurate as of 10:00 a.m. EST.

Daily metals

Gold closed on a strong note Wednesday, ending at US$1,331.73 per ounce. The precious metal stayed relatively steady on Thursday morning when it reached US$1,330.61. Silver also flourished on Wednesday to close at US$16.56 per ounce. Thursday morning saw silver take a small hit when it landed at US$16.44.

Copper saw a small boost on Wednesday when it closed at US$3.06 per pound. Thursday morning fell when it hit US$3.03.

Major miner news

  • Rio Tinto (LSE:RIO,ASX:RIO,LSE:RIO): Rio Tinto has agreed to sell its 75-percent interest in the Winchester South coal development project to Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC) for $200 million. The project is located in Queensland, Australia.
  • Eldorado Gold (TSX:ELD,NYSE:EGO): Eldorado Gold released the results of three technical studies. Two are prefeasibility studies for its Kisladag mine in Turkey and its Lamaque project in Canada. The third is a technical report for the Skouries project in Greece, where updated proven and probable reserves are now at 3.8 million ounces of gold and 1.7 billion pounds of copper. According to the report, that supports a 23-year mine life.
  • Eldorado Gold: Eldorado also released its Q4 and year-end financial and operational results for 2017. Highlights include full-year gold production of 292,971 ounces and gross profit from gold-mining operations totaling $121.2 million.
  • IAMGOLD (TSX:IMG,NYSE:IAG): The company announced that on November 1, 2017 it sold over 3.4 million common shares of Tolima Gold (TSX:TOM) at $0.005 per share. IAMGOLD now holds less than 10 percent of Tolima’s issued and outstanding common shares.

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Securities Disclosure: I, Olivia Da Silva, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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