By Fergal Smith – Mar 7, 2023
Canada's main stock index fell more than 1% on Tuesday
including sharp declines for resource shares and the shares of BlackBerry Ltd, as hawkish remarks by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell strained investor sentiment.
The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE ended down 239.26 points, or 1.2%, at 20,275.54, its lowest closing level since last Wednesday
U.S. stock indexes also fell after Powell told Congress the central bank will likely need to raise interest rates more than expected as it seeks to rein in stubbornly high inflation.
"We are seeing a pullback in risk assets as people start to discount the Fed keeping rates higher for longer,"
said Joseph Abramson, co-chief investment officer at Northland Wealth Management.
Still, inflation and interest rate hikes could undershoot expectations and China's economy is accelerating, helped by liquidity-boosting measures, which should be supportive of commodities, Abramson said, adding:
"I think this weakness (in stocks) is something to buy, particularly the TSX."
The TSX has a 30% weighting in commodity-linked shares.
The energy sector fell nearly 2% on Tuesday as oil settled 3.6% lower at $77.58 a barrel, while materials, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, was down 2.9%. Financials lost 1.2% and technology ended 1.1% lower.
The latter was pressured by a decline of 11.7% for the shares of BlackBerry Ltd BB.TO after the software firm announced a lower-than-expected annual sales estimate.
Thomson Reuters Corp TRI.TO shares were a bright spot, rising 1.2%. An investor consortium including it and Blackstone BX.N is selling 1.7 billion pounds ($2.01 billion) worth of shares in the London Stock Exchange Group LSEG.L to trim its joint stake.
TSX ends down 239.26 points, or 1.2%, at 20,275.54
Energy falls nearly 2%; oil settles down 3.6%
Materials sector ends 2.9% lower
BlackBerry slumps 11.7%