TORONTO — Canada's main stock index moved lower Tuesday, led by industrial and utilities stocks, while U.S. markets also declined.
The S&P/TSX composite index closed down 136.50 points at 20,109.97.
In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 62.75 points at 35,088.29. The S&P 500 index was down 9.19 points at 4,538.19, while the Nasdaq composite was down 84.55 points at 14,199.98.
Markets were softer on Tuesday amid a quieter week ahead of U.S. Thanksgiving, said Tamsin Wilding, principal and portfolio manager for fixed income at Leith Wheeler Investment Counsel Ltd.
Canadian inflation slowed to 3.1 per cent in October, Statistics Canada reported on Tuesday, down from 3.8 per cent in September. The lower price of gasoline helped cool inflation last month, the agency said, but even excluding that, inflation still moved lower.
Measures of core inflation, a key indicator for the Bank of Canada, showed a marked improvement, Wilding said.
“I think (the Bank of Canada) will be pretty pleased by the encouraging signs of this inflation report, which showed that there’s some renewed downward momentum,” she said.
The report further reduces the already-slim chances that the Bank of Canada will need to hike rates again, said Wilding.
Right now, the market is expecting three rate cuts by the end of 2024, with the first in June, she said, though “it's still hard to judge just what the magnitude and the timing of those will be.”
South of the border, the minutes from the latest U.S. Federal Reserve meeting were released, but didn’t have a material impact on markets as the central bank continued to reiterate its cautious messaging, said Wilding.
Fed officials agreed to closely monitor incoming economic data as they decided to leave their overnight rate unchanged. The minutes suggested the Fed would hold off on any more hikes unless the data indicated that progress toward its target was insufficient.
Several U.S. retailers reported earnings, with mixed results — though Lowe's and Best Buy reported higher profits for the latest quarter than analysts expected, they both cut their forecast.
The Canadian dollar traded for 73.00 cents UScompared with 72.85 cents US on Monday.
The January crude contract was down six cents at US$77.77 per barrel and the January natural gas contract was down six cents at US$2.99 per mmBTU.
The December gold contract was up US$21.30 at US$2,001.60 an ounceand the December copper contract was up two cents at 3.81 a pound.
— With files from The Associated Press
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 21, 2023.
Companies in this story: (TSX:GSPTSE, TSX:CADUSD)
Rosa Saba, The Canadian Press