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Canada's main stock index opened lower on Monday, weighed by energy shares on the back of weaker crude prices, with concerns surging cases of the Omicron coronavirus variant might curb global economic recovery further denting sentiment.
The S&P/TSX Composite plummeted 226.78 points to open a short week at 20,512.41,
The Canadian dollar faded 0.23 cents at 77.28 cents U.S.
BNP Paribas said on Monday it is to sell U.S. unit Bank of the West to BMO Financial Group for $16.3 billion U.S. in a deal that will give France's biggest bank a huge step up in firepower for deals and buybacks.
BMO shares gave up $2.52, or 1.9%, to $131.59.
CIBC raised the target price on Cenovus Energy to $24.00 from $22.00. Cenovus shares docked 21 cents, or 1.5%, to $14.31.
RBC cut the target price on Enghouse Systems to $65.00 from $70.00. Enghouse shares gained 59 cents, or 1.3%, to $45.59.
RBC raised the target price on Shawcor to $9.00 from $8.50. Shawcor declined a nickel, or 1.1%, to $4.38.
The TSX Venture Exchange slumped 15.99 points, or 1.8%, to 877.79.
All but one of the 12 TSX subgroups were lower in the first hour, with health-care weakening 2.6%, industrials off 2.1%, and energy down 2%.
Only consumer staples held out against the tide, gaining 0.5%.
The major averages fell on Monday as investors continued to grapple with the resurgence of Covid cases spurred from the newfound omicron variant.
The Dow Jones Industrials floundered 581.43 points, or 1.6%, to open the week at 34,784.01, dragged down by losses in Boeing, Goldman Sachs and American Express.
The S&P 500 index dumped 62.68 points to 4,557.96.
The NASDAQ sank 186.31 points at 14,983.37.
The omicron variant is raging across the world as the winter holiday season approaches. The strain has been found through testing in 43 out of 50 U.S. states and around 90 countries, and the number of cases is doubling in 1.5 to three days in areas with community transmission, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Saturday.
U.S. cases are jumping into year-end with more than 156,000 reported on Friday, according to CDC data.
Reopening plays were among the biggest losers once again on Monday. Royal Caribbean shed 3%. United Airlines and Southwest fell 3.7% and 2.3%, respectively. Darden Restaurants also lost 3.5%. Booking Holdings was down more than 4%.
Energy stocks also dipped as U.S. oil prices dropped more than 5%. Devon Energy slid more than 6% and Exxon Mobil shed 2.8%. ConocoPhillips was down about 3%.
Financials were in the red with Goldman Sachs down more than 3% and Wells Fargo down 2.8%. JPMorgan and Bank of America also dropped about 2% each.
Caterpillar, Boeing and General Electric also lost ground on Monday. The aircraft maker was off by 3.4%. Caterpillar fell 2.7% and GE slipped 3%.
Prices for 10-year Treasurys gained slightly, lowering yields to 1.39% from Friday’s 1.41%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.
Oil prices dropped $3.57 to $67.29 U.S. a barrel.
Gold prices slid $8.10 to $1,796.80 U.S. an ounce.