Toronto, New York stock markets retreat as traders look ahead to OPEC meeting

TORONTO – North American stock markets pulled back Monday amid worries that the rally sparked by the U.S. election may be winding down, while traders also tried to predict whether an OPEC production deal will materialize later this week.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index fell 60.08 points at 15,015.36, with the largest declines coming from the energy and metals sectors. The losses were partially offset by a surge in shares of gold miners, which climbed 3.76 per cent.

The loonie was ahead 0.58 of a U.S. cent at 74.51 cents US.

In New York, major indices retreated from a four-day winning streak as the Dow Jones industrial average dropped 54.24 points to 19,097.90 and the S&P 500 declined 11.63 points at 2,201.72. The Nasdaq composite lost 30.11 points to 5,368.81.

All three stock markets had ended Friday at record highs. Wall Street has enjoyed a positive November, which only strengthened after Donald Trump was declared U.S. president-elect on Nov. 8.

Investors view the Republican’s policies as positive for big business, specifically his plans for massive infrastructure spending and deregulation of the health and banking sectors.

But the Trump rally may be coming to a close now that the dust over his election victory has settled, and markets turn attention back to economic growth and the outlook for interest rates in the U.S.

In commodities, the January crude contract gained $1.02 at US$47.08 per barrel as investors flip-flopped over whether OPEC will indeed strike an output deal at a key meeting on Nov. 30.

It’s a toss-up over whether the 14-member cartel will be able to reach a consensus to discuss whether it should implement a freeze or a cut, as part of an effort to shore up prices. Most recently, members Iran and Iraq have stated that they’ve failed to agree to a reduction, raising doubts over the meeting’s likely outcome.

OPEC’s top producer, Saudi Arabia, has suggested it might be open to no output cut, departing from previous statements in a move analysts said makes an agreement less likely. The Saudis also pulled out of a meeting with Russia and other large non-OPEC producers, leaving all decisions to the Vienna meeting.

“There is an expectation for OPEC members to do something but that gets doused by the economic realities of being an oil producer in a low oil price environment,” said Craig Fehr, a Canadian markets strategist at Edward Jones in St. Louis.

“It’s going to be difficult for these producers to really arrive at a meaningful, co-ordinated outcome in terms of a production cut just because the incentives for many of these countries are to continue to produce even at low oil prices. We’ve seen many of these countries desire higher oil prices but they also want to keep the spigots wide open.”

January natural gas rose 12 cents to US$3.32 per mmBTU while the December gold contract rose $12.40 to US$1,190.80 an ounce. December copper contracts dipped two cents at US$2.66 a pound.

— With files from The Associated Press

Follow @LindaNguyenTO on Twitter.

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version incorrectly stated that gold stocks led declines in para 2.