By Fergal Smith – 16 Jun 2022 - 03:19:54 PM
TORONTO, June 16 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index slumped on Thursday to its lowest level in 14 months and its currency weakened as investors grew more worried that aggressive central bank interest rate hikes would trigger a recession, weighing on corporate earnings.
The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 3.3% at 18,970.70, its lowest level since April 2021.
The Canadian dollar CAD= was trading 0.3% lower at 1.2925 to the greenback, or 77.37 U.S. cents, after touching on Wednesday its weakest intraday level in more than one month at 1.2995.
U.S. stock indexes also tumbled on Thursday as the Swiss National Bank and the Bank of England lifted interest rates following the Federal Reserve's 75-basis-point hike on Wednesday, with central banks aiming to slow domestic activity in the face of soaring price pressures.
"It is becoming increasingly necessary to see a decline in growth in order to stave off inflation," said Joseph Abramson, co-chief investment officer at Northland Wealth Management.
"People have been talking about recession but it's not in market expectation yet if you look at the forward earnings growth. So that's the next shoe to drop."
Broad-based declines on the TSX included a decline of 5.3% for the energy sector, extending its recent pullback, even as oil prices rose.
U.S. crude oil futures CLc1 settled nearly 2% higher at $117.58 a barrel after the United States announced new sanctions on Iran.
Technology, which tends to be particularly sensitive to higher interest rates, fell 4.1% and heavily-weighted financials were 3.1% lower.
One major outlier among individual stocks was LifeWorks Inc LWRK.TO. Its shares jumped 68% after Canadian wireless carrier Telus Corp T.TO agreed to buy the human resources services company in a C$2.9 billion ($2.2 billion) deal.
Domestic data showed that Canada's wholesale trade decreased by 0.5% in April from March, weighed by a drop in fertilizer imports from Russia.
Canadian government bond yields were mixed across the curve. The 10-year CA10YT=RR touched its highest since May 2010 at 3.664% before pulling back to 3.460%, unchanged on the day.
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