Commodities, financials drag TSX lower amid rate worries

By Shristi Achar A and Shashwat Chauhan

FILE PHOTO: The facade of the original Toronto Stock Exchange building is seen in Toronto

© Thomson Reuters
FILE PHOTO: The facade of the original Toronto Stock Exchange building is seen in Toronto

(Reuters) – Canada’s main stock index on Monday was weighed down by commodity-linked and financial stocks, as upbeat economic data out of the United States last week sparked fears of further interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve.


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At 10:13 a.m. ET (1513 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was down 144.7 points, or 0.7%, at 20,613.64.

U.S. stock indexes also opened lower as investors re-assessed their predictions on when the Fed will start cutting rates after Friday’s non-farm payrolls report showed the U.S. economy added jobs at a rapid pace in January.

“The fear for investors is that strong jobs data in the U.S. equates to the Federal Reserve being aggressive with their interest rate hikes,” said Allan Small, senior investment advisor at Allan Small Financial Group with iA Private Wealth.

“That could continue to slow down the U.S. economy, which in turn will slow down our (Canadian) economy.”

Rate-sensitive financial stocks slipped 0.8%, while gold miners lost 1.2% as Osisko Mining Inc slumped 9% after it announced C$75 million “bought deal” private placement of units.

The broader materials sector fell 1.3%, with copper miners amongst the top losers as copper prices slid against a stronger greenback.

First Quantum fell 8.4% after the miner said its subsidiary, Minera Panama, has suspended concentrate loading operations at the Cobre Panamá port.

Newmont Corp fell 4.1% after the gold miner made a $16.9 billion offer for Australian peer Newcrest Mining Ltd, although investors and analysts said it undervalued the target amid a leadership change.

(Reporting by Shristi Achar A and Shashwat Chauhan in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)