July 25th, 2024

TSX down, U.S. markets mixed amid ongoing uncertainty over interest rates

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

Bay Street in Canada's financial district is shown in Toronto on Wednesday, March 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

TORONTO – Losses in energy and metals stocks led the way down for Canada’s main stock index Monday, while U.S. markets ended the day mixed.

The S&P/TSX composite index closed down 68.90 points at 19,046.74.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 190.87 points at 32,936.41. The S&P 500 index was down 7.12 points at 4,217.04, while the Nasdaq composite was up 34.52 points at 13,018.33.

Markets were choppy but slumped as the afternoon wore on. The 10-year Treasury yield briefly rose above five per cent again before easing.

This kind of choppiness has become almost typical amid ongoing uncertainty in the markets, said Steve Locke, chief investment officer for fixed income and multi-asset strategies at Mackenzie Investments.

“The market continues to grapple with all of the tightening that the (U.S. Federal Reserve) and Bank of Canada and other central banks have enacted in their monetary policies over the last one to two years,” he said.

Those effects have manifested themselves in many different parts of the economy, but especially in Canada, where consumers are more sensitive to interest rates, said Locke.

“I think one of the points of uncertainty is that if we look into the U.S. market, we see a lot less evidence today that all those rate hikes by the Fed have really had a demonstrable effect on consumption.”

The Bank of Canada is widely expected to announce it’s holding its key rate steady this Wednesday.

“The bank is going to continue to stress the need to watch inflation and wanting to see inflation come down,” said Locke.

Meanwhile, “the Fed probably is also done but certainly is a little bit more of a knife’s edge in terms of whether or not they need to continue to hike at least one or two more times,” he said.

The Canadian dollar traded for 73.03 cents UScompared with 73.02 cents US on Friday.

The price of oil fell Monday, as concerns over the Israel-Hamas war’s potential effects on supply have continued to lead to volatility in crude markets.

The December crude contract was down US$2.59 at US$85.49 per barrel and the December natural gas contract was up two cents at US$3.27 per mmBTU.

The December gold contract was down US$6.60 at US$1,987.80 an ounceand the December copper contract was up two cents at US$3.59 a pound.

— With files from The Associated Press

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

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

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