Business

Stocks walloped by Brexit, falling oil prices

Canada’s main stock index fell on Monday after crude oil prices fell 3.4 per cent in New York, pressuring shares of energy companies.

North American oil contract falls 3.4%, but Canadian oil edges higher

The TSX fell 175 points early in the day and ended with a 67 point loss. (Chris Helgren/Reuters)

Canada's main stock index fell on Monday after crude oil prices fell 3.4 per cent in New York, pressuring shares of energy companies.

The West Texas Intermediate crude contract closed down $1.79 at $50.82 US, wiping out gains made last week because of a deal between OPEC and Russia to cut production.

The Western Canada Select contract rose 64 cents to $38.25 US, reducing the differential between WCS and WTI to just under $12.

Markets were spooked by the worsening outlook over Brexit in the U.K., with Prime Minister Theresa May postponing a vote over her Brexit deal with the EU because it looks like her government will fall.

The British currency was hammered lower and stocks across Europe lost ground.

There was similar pain in North America, with the Dow index down more than 400 points in mid-morning.  However, the Dow recovered at was up 34 points at 24,464 at the close.

The TSX finished in negative territory. After falling 175 points in the morning, it ended down 67 points at 14,790.

Energy shares were down across the board.

Toronto stocks have so far lost nine per cent on the year, despite a healthy economy and strong earnings in Canada.