Toronto stocks fall on fading imminent rate-cut optimism

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
Toronto stocks fall on fading imminent rate-cut optimism
Credit: © Reuters.

By Shubham Batra

(Reuters) - Canada's main stock index fell on Friday hurt by losses in the technology sector that mirrored its U.S. counterparts, while the domestic housing data spurred worries that the Bank of Canada may not cut interest rates soon.

At 10:08 a.m. ET (14:08 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was down 29.56 points, or 0.14%, at 21,800.29.

Rate-sensitive technology shares led sectoral declines and were down 0.7% as still-sticky inflation raised worries on the timing of the first interest rate cut by the U.S. Federal Reserve.

"The glide path to the Fed's 2% inflation target is anything but smooth and the final mile to the finish line is likely to take some time and a lot more data to gauge its progress," said Carol Schleif, chief investment officer, BMO Family Office.

"The earliest possible cut could be June, though we wouldn’t be shocked to see that delayed to later in the year if the data continues to come in hot as recent data has."

The materials sector advanced 0.4% after Shanghai copper prices hit record highs and London prices touched an 11-month peak as Chinese smelters agreed to trim production in the face of weak profits and losses. [MET/L]

In economic data, Canadian housing starts rose by 14% in February from the previous month as groundbreaking increased on multiple-unit urban homes, Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) data showed on Friday.

Premium Brands Holdings shares slipped 4% to the bottom of TSX after its quarterly earnings missed analysts' estimates.

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A sign board displaying Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) stock information is seen in Toronto June 23, 2014. REUTERS/Mark Blinch/File Photo

On the flip side, Northwest Healthcare Properties REIT soared 6.2% to the top of the benchmark after quarterly results.

TC Energy rose 0.3% after the North American pipeline operator agreed to sell its Prince Rupert natural gas pipeline project to two partners in Ksi Lisims LNG, a proposed Canadian export terminal.

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