TSX erases early gains as crude gold pare advances

TORONTO — The Toronto stock market closed sharply lower, with nearly every sector pulling back as fresh U.S. economic data raised questions about whether stocks are overvalued. The S&P/TSX composite index ended down 151.89 points at 14,929.37 as worries spread.On Wall Street, traders were faced with a discouraging report from the U.S. Commerce Department which showed that orders for durable goods fell 1.4% in February, suggesting that lower demand for commercial aircraft, cars and machinery could be a sign of further trouble to come.The Dow Jones industrial average plunged 292.60 points to 17,718.54, while broad weakness in technology and biotech stocks dragged the Nasdaq 118.21 points lower to 4,876.52. The S&P 500 index fell 30.45 points to 2,061.05. In commodities, crude oil settled at its highest level in more than two weeks, as political uncertainty in Yemen added pressure to supply concerns. TSX energy sector was the sole advancer as the May crude contract moved ahead $1.70 to close at $49.21 a barrel.The Canadian dollar also lost ground, dropping 0.1 of a U.S. cent to 79.89 cents.

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