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CANADA STOCKS-TSX down as technology, mining stocks weigh; Fed minutes awaited

Credit: REUTERS/Mark Blinch

By Purvi Agarwal

Feb 21 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index was dragged down on Wednesday by a drop in mining and rate-sensitive technology stocks, while investors remained cautious ahead of the minutes release from the U.S. Federal Reserve's latest policy meeting.

The materials sector .GSPTTMT, which includes Canadian miners, extended declines to a third consecutive session after it fell 0.9%. Gold miner Wheaton Precious MetalsWPM.TO lost the most among materials stocks, falling 7.1% after brokerages cut price targets on the stock due to underwhelming 2024 production forecast.

Insurance company iA Financial CorpIAG.TO plummeted 9.4% to the bottom of the index after it reported its fourth-quarter profit below analysts' estimates. The stock pulled heavyweight financials .SPTTFS down 0.6%.

In the U.S., minutes from the Federal Reserve’s last policy meeting, due at 2:00 p.m. ET, are on the radar for more details on the timing of the interest rate cuts by the U.S. central bank.

Chip-maker Nvidia’s NVDA.O high-stakes earnings report, which will set the expectations of an AI-fuelled rally this year, also pressured Wall Street indexes, that opened lower on Wednesday. .N

"Nvidia earnings will be a big market mover after today, but it looks like investors are a little jittery heading into the number", said Allan Small, senior investment adviser of Allan Small Financial Group with iA Private Wealth.

"The Fed minutes could be a market mover if we learn that it is delaying interest rate cuts even further down the road. I think right now market is selling off slightly based on some nervousness", he added.

Meanwhile, Canada's main stock index is set to notch a record high in 2025 as the expected start of interest rate cuts by central banks, a Reuters poll found.

Among other stocks, shares of apparel-maker Gildan ActivewearGIL.TO climbed 5.2% after its fourth-quarter results beat analysts' estimates.

(Reporting by Purvi Agarwal in Bengaluru; Editing by Ravi Prakash Kumar)

((Purvi.Agarwal@thomsonreuters.com;))

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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