Canadian Markets Down Firmly In Negative Territory On Virus Jitters

The Canadian market is down sharply in the red around noon on Monday on widespread selling amid rising concerns about the rapid spread of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

It is feared that the spread of the Omicron variant could lead to further global supply chain issues. Several countries across the world have imposed tougher restrictions on movements in order to curb the spread of the virus.

The World Health Organization says the number of cases is doubling in 1.5 to 3 days in areas with community transmission.

Healthcare, industrials, financial, technology, energy, materials and consumer discretionary stocks are down sharply. Several stocks from the real estate sector are also reeling under pressure.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index, which plummeted to 20,382.33, is down 297.21 points or 1.4% at 20,441.98 at noon.

The Capped Healthcare Index is declining 4.7%. Canopy Growth Corp (WEED.TO), down 9%, is the biggest loser. Tilray Inc (TLRY.TO), Cronos Group (CRON.TO), Well Health Technologies (WELL.TO), Organigran Holdings (OGI.TO) and Aurora Cannabis (ACB.TO) are down 4 to 6%.

Among the stocks in the Industrials section, Westshore Terminals Investment (WTE.TO) is down 9%, Bombardier Inc (BBD.B.TO) is drifting down 8% and Westport Fuel Systems (WPRT.TO) is plunging 7.6%. Ballard Power Systems (BLRP.TO), Russel Metals (RUS.TO) and Canadian National Railway (CNR.TO) are lower by 4.4 5o 6.5%.

CDN Western Bank (CWB.TO), Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO), National Bank of Canada (NA.TO) and Manulife Financial Corp (MFC.TO) are down 2 to 3%.

Viq Solutions (VQS.TO), Nuvei Corp (NVEI.TO), Celestica Inc (CLS.TO), BlackBerry (BB.TO) and TecSys (TCS.TO) are among the major losers in the technology section.

Among energy stocks, MEG Energy (MEG.TO) is down 4.6%. Vermilion Energy (VET.TO), Whitecap Resources (WCP.TO), Enerplus Corp (ERF.TO), Suncor Energy (SU.TO) and Cenovus Energy (CVE.TO) are down 2 to 3%.

In the Materials section, Lundin Mining (LUN.TO) is plunging 14%. Lithium Americas Corp (LAC.TO) is declining 5.8%, while Canfor Corp (CFP.TO), Interfor Corp (IFP.TO), Capstone Mining (CS.TO), CCL Industries (CCL.B.TO) and Stelco Holdings (STLC.TO) are down 4 to 4.8%.

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