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S&P/TSX composite makes small gain, U.S. stock markets move lower

TORONTO — Strength in base metals and telecom helped Canada's main stock index post a small gain Friday, while U.S. markets moved lower.
The S&P TSX composite index screen is seen at the TMX Market Centre in Toronto, Friday, Nov. 11, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Tijana Martin

TORONTO — Strength in base metals and telecom helped Canada's main stock index post a small gain Friday, while U.S. markets moved lower. 

The results wrapped what’s been a tumultuous week for markets, which sold off steeply on Tuesday after a hotter-than-expected CPI report in the U.S. before picking back up in the following days.

“It’s been an interesting week,” said Mona Heidari, senior financial advisor at BlueShore Financial.

The CPI report earlier in the week was a “quick reality check” for investors, she said. 

Investors this week had to recalibrate their expectations for how many interest rate cuts will come this year, and when they will begin, Heidari said. 

“It’s not going to happen as fast as they were expecting,” she said.

The S&P/TSX composite index closed up 32.92 points at 21,255.61. 

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 145.13 points at 38,627.99. The S&P 500 index was down 24.16 points at 5,005.57, while the Nasdaq composite was down 130.52 points at 15,775.65.

Friday saw another economic report in the U.S., this time on wholesale inflation, which was also hotter than expected. But markets didn’t react as dramatically as they did on Tuesday because they weren’t surprised, said Heidari: “It’s already old news.” 

Though the technology giants continue to lead the market, portfolio managers are starting to broaden their horizons, said Heidari.

“Maybe they don't have as much momentum as they did last year or the year before ... and there might be some other pockets for investors to start looking at,” she said. 

Investors are also starting to realize that interest rates aren’t the only thing that matters for markets right now, said Heidari. 

Next week will see Canadian CPI data ahead of the following week’s interest rate decision from the Bank of Canada, which is widely expected to be a hold, she said. 

The U.S. Federal Reserve previously said it expects to cut rates three times in 2024. Markets had been pricing in several more than that, but in the past few weeks have been slowly paring back their bets for cuts ahead of the March decision, which is also expected to be a hold. 

The Canadian dollar traded for 74.16 cents UScompared with 74.11 cents US on Thursday.

The April crude contract was up 87 cents at US$78.46 per barreland the March natural gas contract was up three cents at US$1.61 per mmBTU.

The April gold contract was up US$9.20 at US$2,024.10 an ounce and the March copper contract was up eight cents at US$3.84 a pound.

— With files from The Associated Press

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 16, 2024.

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

Rosa Saba, The Canadian Press

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