CANADA STOCKS-TSX down after hot inflation data, dismal Shopify forecast

Credit: REUTERS/Chris Helgren

By Amal S

Feb 16 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index fell on Wednesday, after domestic data showing the annual inflation rate accelerated in January raised fears of quicker interest rate hikes and as Shopify Inc's dismal forecast dented sentiment.

At 9:41 a.m. ET (14:41 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 91.8 points, or 0.43%, at 21,410.75, with technology stocks .SPTTTK leading losses.

Canada's annual inflation rate accelerated to 5.1% in January, the highest since September 1991, Statistics Canada said. While analysts in a Reuters poll had forecast annual inflation remaining at 4.8%.

That led to the Canadian dollar gaining against its U.S. counterpart on Wednesday.

"The currency is starting to move a little bit, and that's just an indication that the Bank of Canada will be hiking rates at the next meeting," said Gregory Taylor, portfolio manager at Purpose Investments.

"The big question will be, how aggressive do they become on this path, whether they go from 25 to 50 bps or whether they signal they're going do more throughout the year."

Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem said earlier this month that interest rates needed to rise to tackle inflation.

The technology stocks fell 4.2%, led by a 16.5% decline in Shopify Inc SHOP.TO after the company forecast a slowing pace in first-half revenue growth.

The sector was further pressured by expectations of rate hikes as that makes future income flows from technology and other high-growth sectors less valuable to investors.

The energy sector .SPTTEN climbed 2% and the materials sector .GSPTTMT rose 1.5%, aided by stronger commodity prices. O/RGOL/

In a bright spot, Barrick Gold Corp ABX.TO gained 4.5% after the miner announced a share repurchase of up to $1 billion and a bigger dividend payout as the gold miner's fourth-quarter results beat analysts' estimates.

(Reporting by Amal S in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel)

((; within U.S. +1 646 223 8780; outside U.S. +91 80 6749 3677;))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


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