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Canada’s main stock index fell to a five-week low on Monday as long-term borrowing costs climbed and investors worried that this week’s federal budget would propose raising taxes.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index ended down 159.79 points, or 0.7%, at 21,740.20, its lowest closing level since March 8.

“It’s partially nerves over the upcoming budget,” said Michael Sprung, president at Sprung Investment Management. “People are concerned about what the tax implications might be given how much this government is spending.”

Canadian Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland will have to find ways to amp up savings or raise taxes when she delivers the budget on Tuesday, as new heavy spending plans in the run-up further risks weakening government finances, economists say.

U.S. stocks also fell as an early lift from a strong retail sales report gave way to a jump in Treasury yields and concerns about rising tensions in the Middle East.

“I think that inflation is going to prove to be a little bit more persistent than people want and the amount of financing that is going to be required from corporate, personal and governments over the next few years is going to put pressure on rates,” Sprung said.

Canada’s consumer price index report for March is also due on Tuesday. It is expected to show inflation rising to an annual rate of 2.9% from 2.8% in February.

The Toronto market’s energy sector fell 1.7% as the price of oil settled 0.3% lower to $85.41 a barrel.

The materials group, which includes metal miners and fertilizer companies, was down 0.9% even as gold climbed to a fresh record high.

Heavily weighted financials fell 0.6% and technology was down 1.3%.

U.S. stocks closed sharply lower on Monday, as an early lift from a strong retail sales report gave way to a jump in Treasury yields and concerns about rising geopolitical tensions between Iran and Israel.

With the S&P 500 coming off its biggest one-day percentage drop since Jan. 31 in the prior session, stocks opened higher in part after data showed retail sales increased by more than expected in March.

Also providing early support were gains in some financial stocks after their quarterly results, as Goldman Sachs rose after its first-quarter profit beat Wall Street estimates, fueled by a recovery in underwriting, deals and bond trading that lifted its earnings per share to the highest since late 2021.

M&T Bank jumped after forecasting better-than-expected annual net interest income (NII), while brokerage Charles Schwab advanced despite reporting a fall in quarterly profit. The stocks were the three best performers in the S&P 500 financial sector.

But gains faded over concerns the hostilities between Israel and Iran could continue to flare, and Treasury yields jumped, with the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note hitting its highest level since November.

“You saw a little bit of a bounce this morning because maybe people thought ‘OK it sold off on Friday’ in anticipation of something really bad happening in the Middle East,” said Ken Polcari, managing partner at Kace Capital Advisors in Boca Raton, Florida.

“All the geopolitical stuff is going to cause tension and anxiety in the market, the realization that rates are not going down anytime soon has got to be finally hitting home, that’s what the bond market is telling you, that rates are going to go higher.”

According to preliminary data, the S&P 500 lost 61.79 points, or 1.21%, to end at 5,061.62 points, while the Nasdaq Composite lost 289.93 points, or 1.79%, to 15,885.17. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 250.63 points, or 0.66%, to 37,735.24.

Israel faced growing pressure from allies to show restraint and avoid an escalation of conflict in the Middle East as it considered how to respond to Iran’s weekend missile and drone attack, launched after a suspected Israeli attack on its embassy.

Each of the 11 major S&P sectors were lower, with the rate-sensitive real estate and utilities sectors both falling more than 1 percent.

Stocks have struggled recently, with the S&P 500 suffering two straight weeks of declines and its biggest weekly percentage drop since October last week as investors have pushed back expectations for the timing and size of any rate cuts from the Federal Reserve.

Apple fell as one of the biggest drags on the S&P 500 after data from research firm IDC showed the company’s smartphone shipments dropped about 10% in the first quarter of 2024.

Tesla slumped after the EV maker said it will lay off more than 10% of its global workforce, according to an internal memo seen by Reuters.

Salesforce stumbled after Reuters reported, citing a source, that the customer relations software maker was in advanced talks to acquire Informatica.


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