TORONTO, March 19 (Xinhua) -- Canadian stocks closed slightly lower on Tuesday after Cyprus's parliament rejected a plan to impose tax on bank deposits in order to secure a European bailout.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index dropped 7.89 points, or 0.06 percent, to 12,773.87 while the S&P/TSX Venture Composite Index decreased 5.27 points, or 0.47 percent, to 1,106.51.
Cyprus's parliament voted down the plan that would impose a one-time levy of 6.75 percent on all bank accounts with deposits between 20,000 and 100,000 euros, and 9.9 percent above that level, leaving the Mediterranean county's path to a possible bailout in doubt.
Analysts said that without outside help Cyprus is on track to default on its loans within the month, which could shake confidence in the euro and reignite financial markets' concerns over the currency's future.
Metals and mining stocks on the Canadian stock market slumped 3. 4 percent to become the biggest losers. Diversified miner Teck Resources dropped nearly 5 percent to 28.45 Canadian dollars per share.
Energy stocks lost 0.4 percent following a drop in oil prices. Cenovus Energy declined 1.3 percent to 32.34 Canadian dollars per share. However, pipeline company TransCanada Corp increased 1.2 percent to 49.49 Canadian dollars per share and pared some losses for the market.
Gold stocks rose as bullion price increased to a more than two- week high with its haven-safety's appeal rising on the Cyprus concerns. Barrick Gold rose 0.2 percent to 28.64 Canadian dollars per share and Goldcrop gained 0.6 percent to 33.48 Canadian dollars per share.
On the economic front, Statistics Canada reported that wholesale sales in January rose by 0.3 percent to 49 billion Canadian dollars, mainly due to higher sales in computer and communications equipment and supplies.
At closing, the Canadian dollar moved down to 0.9738 U.S. dollars at 5 p.m. local time (2100 GMT), compared with 0.9788 U.S. dollars on Monday.