Canada’s main stock index, the S&P/TSX composite index, tumbled to a three-week low on Thursday, weighed down by surging bond yields, which put pressure on the technology and utilities sectors. Additionally, the outlook for some high-profile companies, such as Nutrien Ltd, disappointed investors, leading to widespread declines in various sectors.
Closing at 20,120.74, the S&P/TSX composite index lost 97.47 points or 0.5%, marking its lowest closing level since July 12. Colin Cieszynski, chief market strategist at SIA Wealth Management, noted the impact of a global decline, attributing it to the higher bond yields that have been causing turbulence in markets worldwide. On Wall Street, the market closed almost flat after a choppy session, with investors carefully weighing economic data and earnings amidst the backdrop of rising bond yields following Fitch’s downgrade of the top-tier U.S. credit rating. The U.S. 10-year Treasury yield, a crucial global benchmark, reached a nine-month high at 4.198%, though it had slightly dipped below 4.194% in late afternoon trading.
As August approached, Cieszynski remarked on the seasonally weaker and more volatile tendencies of the stock market during this period. He also suggested that the Fitch Ratings downgrade of the U.S. credit rating might have served as the spark that ignited an overdue correction in the markets.
Within the Toronto market, the technology sector experienced a 1.5% decline, while utilities plummeted by 2.6%, hitting its lowest level since July of the previous year. Heavyweights in the financials and materials groups, which include precious and base metals miners, as well as fertilizer companies, also faced significant declines, each slipping by 0.6%.
Nutrien, the world’s largest fertilizer firm, dealt a blow to investor confidence when it forecasted full-year profit below analysts’ estimates, causing its shares to fall by 4%. Similarly, Canada Goose Holdings disappointed Wall Street with its current-quarter sales forecast, leading to a 3.1% drop in shares of the luxury apparel brand. Bombardier Inc, facing challenges in its free cash flow, saw its shares plummet by 8.5%.
Despite the overall downturn, the energy sector emerged as a bright spot in the S&P/TSX composite index, gaining 1.5% as oil prices settled 2.6% higher at $81.55 a barrel. The rise in oil prices came as a result of steps taken by Saudi Arabia and Russia to maintain tight supplies into September.
As Canadian stocks faced pressure from rising bond yields and underwhelming earnings reports, investors exercised caution. Global uncertainties, coupled with the impact of bond market movements, continued to influence market sentiment. The technology and utilities sectors bore the brunt of the market decline, while the energy sector provided some respite with its gains in oil-related stocks.
Looking ahead, investors are closely monitoring economic data, central bank actions, and corporate earnings, as they seek to gauge the direction of the market. The influence of global economic conditions remains a dominant factor, and any further developments in bond markets and earnings reports will be crucial in shaping investor confidence and market movements in the days to come.
The Canadian stock market’s downturn reflects broader concerns among investors about the impact of rising bond yields on equity valuations and the overall economic outlook. The surge in U.S. Treasury yields, triggered by positive economic data and the Fitch credit rating downgrade, has reverberated through global markets, affecting investor sentiment in Canada. Disappointing earnings reports from prominent companies like Nutrien and Canada Goose Holdings further added to the cautious mood. While the energy sector provided a glimmer of hope, uncertainties continue to linger as market participants closely monitor economic indicators and central bank policies, anticipating their potential implications on market dynamics.