Canadian stocks fell a second day amid continued concern that increased volatility from China will constrain global growth.
Selling eased in afternoon trading as equities in the U.S. staged a rebound. Industrials and consumer shares slumped with banks in Toronto. Royal Bank of Canada, the nation’s largest lender, dropped 1 percent. Gold producers rallied for the biggest five-day gain since 2008 as the price of gold jumped.
The Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index fell 75.14 points, or 0.5 percent, to 14,339.53 at 4 p.m., paring an earlier decline of as much as 1.6 percent. The benchmark Canadian equity gauge has fallen 2 percent this year, making one of the worst-performing developed-nation markets.
The S&P 500 erased a 1.5 percent decline, ending the session little-changed. Markets in Europe and developing nations tumbled amid concern that China’s economy is faltering and will hurt growth around the world. The nation is Canada’s second-largest trading partner after the U.S. and the world’s biggest commodities consumer.
The MSCI All-Country World Index tracking both developed and developing markets declined 0.6 percent to a two-week low. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index sank 2.7 percent, the biggest decline since October.
The Bloomberg Commodity Index, which tracks a basket of prices for raw materials including gold, natural gas and crude, slipped 0.3 percent. The index had fallen to a 13-year low last week, dragging down companies that comprise about one-third of Canada’s stock market. Prices have tumbled 13 percent this year.
Commodities provided a haven for investors Wednesday, as Yamana Gold Inc. increased 9.1 percent and Barrick Gold Corp. rallied 4.9 percent as investors traded into the safety of gold. The metal is seen as a safe-haven investment in times of increased volatility.
The S&P/TSX Gold Index surged 5.5 percent. The gauge has soared 20 percent in a five-day rally, the biggest gain since December 2008.
Air Canada tumbled 6.4 percent after second-quarter revenue fell short of analysts’ estimates. The carrier predicted average fares will decline amid increased capacity. Industrials stocks dropped 1.4 percent as a group.