NEWS
03/23/2016 10:12 EDT | Updated 03/24/2017 01:12 EDT

TSX, Wall Street sees declines, a day after deadly Belgium attacks

TORONTO — Stock markets in Toronto and New York are in negative territory this morning, a day after two deadly bombings rocked an airport and subway in Belgium.

The S&P/TSX composite index shed 40.66 points to 13,452.83, weighed down by the gold, materials and metal sectors. The industrials sector, which includes airlines and railways, recovered some of yesterday's losses following news of the attacks that killed at least 34 people and injured hundreds of others.

Shares in Montreal online gaming company Amaya (TSX:AYA) were also a weight on the TSX, falling $3.57 or 19 per cent, to $15.

Amaya chief executive David Baazov has been charged as part of an investigation into insider trading. He faces five charges, including influencing or attempting to influence the market price of Amaya stock securities of Amaya and communicating privileged information. Baazov denies the allegations and Amaya says it expects him to be exhonerated.

The Canadian dollar pulled back 0.71 of a U.S. cent to 76.01 cents US.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrials index lost 50.64 points to 17,531.93, the S&P 500 declined 6.04 points to 2,043.76 and the Nasdaq retracted 19.78 points to 4,801.87.

Generally, gold is seen as a safe haven in turbulent times, but investors seemed to shy away from the bullion this morning. The April gold contract lost $28.60 to US$1,220 an ounce.

Other commodities were also mainly lower, with the May contract for benchmark North American crude falling 76 cents at US$40.69 a barrel, while May copper dipped four cents at US$2.25 a pound. April natural gas added two cents to US$1.52 per mmBtu.

News of the attacks in Belgium had initially pulled global markets down, as shares in airlines and travel companies continued to slip in Asia overnight.

"The Brussels explosions gave the market a shock yesterday,'' said Margaret Yang Yan, market analyst at CMC Markets Singapore. "This attack, together with a series of terrorist attacks believed to have been perpetrated by ISIS since last year, will have an impact on investors' confidence.''

But by this morning, European markets seemed to have enjoy a small recovery. France's CAC 40 recovered 0.6 per cent in early trading to 4,456.18. Germany's DAX edged up 0.7 per cent to 10,057.43. Britain's FTSE 100 was up 0.1 per cent at 6,201.70.

In Asia, Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 fell 0.3 per cent to 17,000.98. South Korea's Kospi edged 0.1 per cent lower to 1,995.12. Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.3 per cent to 20,615.23, while the Shanghai Composite rose nearly 0.4 per cent to 3,009.96. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 lost 0.5 per cent at 5,142.30. Southeast Asian markets were mostly lower.

— With a file from The Associated Press

The Canadian Press