The Toronto stock market extended its losses Friday with energy stocks under more selling pressure in the wake of a collapse of oil prices.
The S&P/TSX composite index fell 89.73 points to 14,832.71.
The energy sector lost 1.45 per cent after prices fell to 4 1/2 year lows, barely above $69 (U.S.) on Thursday, after the OPEC oil cartel opted to leave its daily output unchanged at 30 million barrels a day, rejecting intense lobbying by some of its 12 members to cut production to put a floor under prices. Oil prices have plunged about 35 per cent from mid-summer highs because of a higher U.S. dollar, lower demand and most particularly a glut of global supply.
On Friday, the January crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange was down $4.42 from Wednesday's closing price to a 4 1/2 year low of $69.27 a barrel.
The S&P/TSX composite index racked up a 116-point loss Thursday largely because of a seven per cent slide in the energy sector.
Plunging energy prices also punished the Canadian dollar, which lost three quarters of a cent Thursday. The pressure kept up Friday with the loonie losing another 0.53 of a cent to 87.72 cents (U.S.) even as economic growth for the third quarter came in much better than expected.
Statistics Canada reported that third quarter gross domestic product ran ahead at an annualized pace of 2.8 per cent, much higher than the 2.1 per cent rise that economists had expected. On a monthly basis, the economy grew by 0.4 per cent in September.
U.S. indexes were mixed as traders return to work following the Thanksgiving holiday for a shortened session that will end at 1 p.m. EST.
The Dow Jones industrials gained 31.02 points to 17,858.77, the Nasdaq improved by 8.04 points to 4,795.36 while the S&P 500 index declined 2.9 points to 2,069.93.
The TSX also found pressure from another major pillar – the mining sector as metal prices also retreated.
The base metals sector dropped 3.25 per cent while March copper declined 10 cents to $2.86 (U.S.) a pound.
The gold sector fell 2.75 per cent while February gold lost $16.90 to $1,180.60 an ounce.
TSX gainers were led by consumer discretionary and telco stocks, both up 0.35 per cent.
Meanwhile, the American retail sector was in focus as the Christmas shopping season kicked off. The day, known as "Black Friday," refers to the point at which retailers begin to turn a profit or get "in the black" after traditionally operating at a financial loss, or in the red, for the first 11 months of the year.
The period sets the tone for the Christmas shopping season, with U.S. sales expected to rise 4.1 per cent to $611.9-billion. That would be the biggest increase since 2011.
In corporate news, BCE Inc. is buying wireless phone retailer Glentel Inc. in a deal valued at $670-million (Canadian) in stock, cash and debt. Glentel has nearly 500 locations across Canada, selling wireless products and services from a variety of carriers including Bell Mobility, Chatr, Fido, Rogers Wireless, SaskTel and Virgin Mobile. The company also operates retail locations in the U.S., Australia and the Philippines. BCE gained 30 cents to $53.63 while Glentel soared 105 per cent to $26.15.
German utility E.ON is selling an 80 per cent stake in two wind farms in the United States to Canadian pipeline company Enbridge in a deal valued at about $650-million. Enbridge dipped a dime to $52.70.