Canada’s commodity-heavy stock market fell the most in three weeks, as gold and oil producers sank to levels last seen in the financial crisis amid a rout in basic resources.
Barrick Gold Corp. and Goldcorp Inc. sank as gold’s lowest settlement in five years pushed miners in the benchmark index to a 14-year low. Pacific Rubiales Energy Corp. and Athabasca Oil Corp. slumped more than 9.1 percent as U.S. crude sank below $50 a barrel for the first time since April.
The rout in commodities worsened amid signals from the Federal Reserve that the central bank may raise rates this year on the back of an improving U.S. economy. Higher borrowing costs curb the attractiveness of assets such as gold, which doesn’t pay interest or give returns like assets including bonds and equities. Producers of energy and raw materials account for about 30 percent Canada’s equity benchmark.
The Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index fell 217.29 points, or 1.5 percent, to 14,425.55 at 4 p.m. in Toronto. The benchmark equity gauge has declined 2.1 percent in two days, after rallying 3.2 percent in the previous five sessions.
Gold miners bore the brunt of selling Monday, as the metal sank to as low as $1,080 an ounce, the lowest since 2010. Barrick sank 16 percent to close at a 25-year low, while Goldcorp tumbled 12 percent to its worst close since 2005.
An index of gold miners retreated 12 percent to end at the lowest since April 2001, with Yamana Gold Inc. sliding 12 percent and Kinross Gold Corp. plunging 13 percent.
Raw-materials producers retreated 6.3 percent for a fourth day of losses that now total 10 percent. The Bloomberg Commodity Index dropped 1.4 percent, falling for a fifth day to a 2002 low.
Energy producers declined 2.7 percent as crude slipped below $50 a barrel for the first time since April before settling at $50.15. The group has lost 13 percent so far in 2015, the worst performance among 10 industries in the S&P/TSX.