Canadian stocks joined a global selloff in equities, falling to the lowest since December as the rout in emerging markets spread.
The benchmark equity gauge slumped a fourth day, as equities around the world tumbled on intensifying concern that global growth is slowing. Canadian energy producers decreased 2.7 percent, extending a 2009 low. Barrick Gold Corp. jumped as gold rallied to the highest in more than a month as investors sought safety.
The Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index fell 299.63 points, or 2.1 percent, to 13,737 at 4 p.m. in Toronto, the lowest level since Dec. 15. The benchmark Canadian equity gauge has fallen 6.1 percent this year.
The MSCI All-Country World Index of developing and developed markets declined a third session to a January low.
Selling in emerging-market currencies intensified after Kazakhstan switched to a free float for the tenge, triggering a 23 percent slide. It’s the latest sign emerging nations will stop defending their currencies after China devalued the yuan, roiling markets and highlighting risks in emerging markets.
Commodities producers are the worst-performing industries in the S&P/TSX this year with energy producers pacing declines with an 22 percent drop. Crude has slumped more than 30 percent from this year’s June peak and metals from copper to gold have declined amid concern global growth is slowing.
Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. tumbled 3.5 percent and Canadian National Railway Co. retreated 2.7 percent as industrials stocks slumped the most in the S&P/TSX. North American commodity carloads fell 5.8 percent in the week ended Aug. 15, according to a Bloomberg Intelligence report.
Bank of Nova Scotia declined 2.2 percent and Royal Bank of Canada lost 1.2 percent. The nation’s largest lenders begin reporting third-quarter earnings next week.
Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. sank 6.7 percent after agreeing to buy female libido-drug developer Sprout Pharmaceuticals Inc. for $1 billion. Sprout received approval to sell the pill this week from U.S. regulators.