Canadian stocks lose ground

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Toronto, April 5 (IANS) Canada’s main stock market in Toronto fell weak to start the week amid falling oil and metals prices and a report that US manufacturing output fell in February.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s benchmark Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index lost 104.29 points, or 0.78 percent, to close at 13,336.15 points on Monday, Xinhua news agency reported.

Seven of the TSX index’s eight main sub-sectors were lower.

Oil prices plunged on Monday as Saudi Arabia said it would freeze its oil output only after other producers agree to do the same. The West Texas Intermediate for May delivery moved down $1.09 to settle at $35.7 a barrel, while Brent crude for June delivery decreased 98 cents to close at $37.69 a barrel.

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Leading the decline, TSX energy and mining groups were down 1.70 percent and 4.56 percent respectively. Pacific Exploration & Production Corporation lost 32.65 percent to 0.99 Canadian dollar ($0.76) a share, while Caza Oil & Gas Inc. slumped 33.33 percent to 0.01 Canadian dollar.

The commodity-sensitive Canadian dollar was also lower for a third consecutive session. The loonie traded lower at $0.7650, compared with Friday’s closing rate of $0.7684.

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