Canada’s stock market benchmark lost further ground Friday, even as bond yields stabilized, as the materials and energy sectors took a hit from a pullback in commodity prices.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index closed down 163.28 points, or 0.90%, to 18,060.26, as materials lost 3.29% and energy 1.80%. Financials weren’t that hot either, losing 1.34%, despite a week that brought nothing but earnings beats from the Canadian big banks.
The TSX ended the month with a 4.1% gain.
It was a bumpy day on Wall Street. The tech-heavy Nasdaq index rallied in choppy trading on Friday as sentiment remained fragile after the index’s worst performance in four months the day before as fears of rising inflation kept U.S. bond yields near a one-year high.
The S&P 500 ended little changed, while the Dow index closed lower after earlier dropping to a three-week low. The Dow still posted gains of nearly 4% for the month, as investors bought into cyclical companies set to benefit from an economic reopening. Nasdaq, which had its worst week since October, ended the month roughly 1.8% higher while the S&P 500 posted a monthly gain of about 3.5%.
Shares of Apple Inc, Amazon.com Inc, Microsoft Corp and Alphabet Inc rose between 0.2% to 1.4% on Friday but had their worst week in months due to a sharp rise in U.S. Treasury yields.
The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury yield eased to 1.451% after jumping to 1.614% on Thursday, roiling stock markets. The Canadian 10-year bond yield also pulled back on Friday, to about 1.35% by late day, down about one-tenth of a percentage point. Wall Street’s fear gauge hovered at a one-month high.
Tech stocks are particularly sensitive to rising yields because their value rests heavily on future earnings, which are discounted more deeply when interest rates go up.
“There’s no question that the path in rates today is higher,” said Andrew Mies, chief investment officer at 6 Meridian.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 469.64 points lower, or 1.5%, to 30,932.37, the S&P 500 lost 18.19 points, or 0.48%, to 3,811.15 and the Nasdaq Composite added 72.91 points, or 0.56%, to 13,192.34.
Financials and energy shares, the best performing S&P sectors this month, slipped 2% and 2.3% on Friday. Technology stocks rose 0.6% and semiconductor stocks advanced 2.3%.
“There are a few tailwinds for stocks that we shouldn’t lose sight of,” Mies said, citing President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion economic aid package before Congress.
The S&P 500 value index dropped 1.3% while the growth index rose 0.3% in a reversal of this month’s trend.
An early surge in the shares of GameStop Corp fizzled and left the video game retailer’s stock down 6.4% on Friday, throwing water on a renewed rally this week that has left analysts puzzled.
On the economic front, the latest data showed U.S. consumer spending increased by the most in seven months in January but price pressures remained muted.
The Canadian dollar tumbled against its broadly stronger U.S. counterpart on Friday as this week’s spike in bond yields weighed on investor sentiment, with the loonie extending its pullback from a three-year high the day before.
The Canadian dollar was trading 0.9% lower at 1.2710 to the greenback, or 78.68 U.S. cents, its biggest decline since last October. It touched its weakest since Feb. 18 at 1.2729, while it was down 0.8% for the week.
Oil fell. Brent crude futures settled down 75 cents at $66.13 a barrel. U.S. crude futures fell $2.03 to settle at $61.50 a barrel.
Gold fell more than 2% to an eight-month low, as the stronger dollar and rising Treasury yields hammered bullion and helped it post its worst month since November 2016. U.S. gold futures settled 2.6% lower at $1,728.80 an ounce.
Copper recoiled after touching successive multi-year peaks in six consecutive sessions, falling more than 3% as risk-off sentiment hit wider financial markets after a spike in bond yields. Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) slumped to $9,112 a tonne.
Volume on U.S. exchanges was 15.54 billion shares on Friday, compared with the 15.40 billion average for the full session over the last 20 trading days.
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.56-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.73-to-1 ratio favored decliners.
The S&P 500 posted four new 52-week highs and one new low; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 54 new highs and 50 new lows.
Read more: Stocks that saw action on Friday - and why
Reuters, Globe staff
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