June 22nd, 2024

S&P/TSX composite stays flat Thursday despite energy gains, U.S. markets rise

By Rosa Saba, The Canadian Press on February 23, 2023.

The S&P TSX composite index screen at the TMX Market Centre in downtown Toronto is photographed on Friday, Nov. 11, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Tijana Martin

TORONTO – Canada’s main stock index ended the day largely unchanged as strength in the energy sector was offset by softness in other sectors, while U.S. markets rose.

The S&P/TSX composite index was down 5.14 points at 20,188.19.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 108.82 points at 33,153.91. The S&P 500 index was up 21.27 points at 4,012.32,while the Nasdaq composite was up 83.33 points at 11,590.40.

If the rally in January was fuelled by optimism from investors, this week represented more of a reality check, said Ashish Utarid, assistant vice-president of investment strategy at IG Wealth Management.

“That optimism was fuelled by a potential rate cut by the Fed in late 2023,” said Utarid. But in the past few weeks, hopes of rate cuts in Canada and the U.S. have been largely dashed, he said, and Utarid sees no reason for cuts this year unless there’s a deep recession.

With the U.S. consumer still spending at high levels, and less sensitive to rate hikes than the Canadian consumer, the U.S. is faced with a slightly more urgent fight against inflation, said Utarid. At least two more small hikes are expected from the Federal Reserve, while Canada’s central bank has said it is pausing rates for now.

“There’s no indication that Canada needs to increase rates” at this point, said Utarid.

U.S. jobless claims released Thursday were down again in line with predictions, Utarid noted.

With data rolling in from the end of 2023, including earnings in the U.S. and Canada, the market has calmed down from its January excitement, he said.

“It’ll really paint a picture of what 2022 was, and what 2023 is going to look like.”

Markets opened higher Thursday before giving up their gains, he said. The TSX energy index was up 1.9 per cent, offset by weakness in financials, telecom, utilities and metals.

The Canadian dollar traded for 73.81 cents UScompared with 73.84 cents US on Wednesday.

The April crude oil contract was up US$1.44 at US$75.39 per barrel and the April natural gas contract was up 13 cents at US$2.43 per mmBTU.

The April gold contract was down US$14.70 at US$1,826.80 an ounce and the March copper contract was down 13 cents at US$4.06 a pound.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 23, 2023.

Companies in this story: (TSX:GSPTSE, TSX:CADUSD=X)

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