TORONTO, Jan. 16 (Xinhua) -- Canada's main stock market in Toronto started the week lower on Monday as U.S. President-elect Donald Trump claimed to impose a tax on foreign-automotive companies.
The Toronto Stock Exchange's benchmark Standard & Poor's/TSX Composite moved down 17.99 points, or 0.12 percent, to close the day at 15,479.29 points. Six of the ten sub-sectors closed the session lower.
In an interview with a German newspaper on Monday, Trump said he would impose a 35 percent tax on imported vehicles into the United States. As a result of the news, the TSX Consumer Discretionary group, which consists of of producers of non-essentials goods including automobiles, saw the biggest percentage drop on the day of 0.44 percent.
Canada's two largest automobile parts manufacturers Magna International Inc. and Linamar Corporation saw shares dip 3.13 percent to 56.98 Canadian dollars (43.21 U.S. dollars) and 3.49 percent to 55.65 Canadian dollars (42.20 U.S. dollars), respectively.
Also affected by the news was Ontario-based Martinrea International Inc., which produces metal parts for the automotive sector. Shares of the firm slumped 6.12 percent to 8.28 Canadian dollars (6.28 U.S. dollars).
Other groups to finish lower on the day included: Financials (0.30 percent), Energy (0.22 percent), Materials (0.08 percent), Telecommunications (0.01 percent), and Industrials (0.01 percent).
The TSX Financials Group was lower as two of the largest financial institutions in the country lost ground. Manulife Financial Corporation, the largest insurance firm in Canada, saw shares slip 0.94 percent to 24.30 Canadian dollars (18.43 U.S. dollars). Meanwhile shares of Royal Bank of Canada, the largest bank in the country, finished at 94.27 Canadian dollars (71.49 U.S. dollars), a 0.24 percent decline.
The Materials group, which feature producers of gold, precious metals, and raw materials, was slightly down despite the spot price of gold closing above 1,200 U.S. dollars for the first time since Nov. 22. The spot price of bullion moved up 5.70 dollars to 1,202.60 on the day. Shares of Toronto-based Barrick Gold, the world' s largest producer of gold, rose 1.49 percent to finish the day at 22.50 Canadian dollars (17.06 U.S. dollars).
Groups that did not experience losses on Monday were: Utilities (0.38 percent), Health Care (0.33 percent), Consumer Staples (0.07 percent), and Information Technology (no change).
On the economic front, Canadian Real Estate Association reported that the average house sold in Canada during the month of December was 470,661 Canadian dollars, a 3.5 percent rise from 12 months prior. By volume, sales rose 2.2 percent compared to the month prior.
The Canadian dollar ended eighth straight session of gains, slipping 0.33 cents to 0.7584 U.S. dollars.