CANADA STOCKS-TSX falls as caution looms ahead of US data, BoC decision; miners gain

Credit: REUTERS/Chris Helgren

By Purvi Agarwal

March 4 (Reuters) - Canada's main index edged lower on Monday as investors remained cautious ahead of U.S. economic data and the Bank of Canada's monetary policy decision this week, while gains in materials stocks limited declines.

At 10:24 a.m. ET (1524 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 50.54 points, or 0.23%, at 21,501.81.

Labor market reports in the United States, including nonfarm payrolls, in the week are expected to guide expectations from the Federal Reserve on interest rate cuts during the year.

"Unless data shows a convincing path, I don't see it (data) impacting the Fed's timeline," said Graham Priest, investment advisor at BlueShore Financial.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell's testimony to both the houses of the U.S. Congress will also be on the watch this week.

Back home, BoC's decision on borrowing costs is due on Wednesday, where it is widely expected to keep interest rates on hold at the current level of 5%.

"Economists feel the slowdown in the Canadian economy is in line with what the central bank was anticipating," Priest added.

Declines on the TSX were led by the healthcare stocks .GSPTTHC, which fell 1.2%. Pot firm Tilray Brands TLRY.TO lost 3.8%, the biggest decline among healthcare stocks.

Utilities shares .GSPTTUT also declined 0.9%.

However, amid a broad sell-off, materials stocks — which include precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies .GSPTTMT — gained 1.2%.

Metal miners Torex Gold Resources TXG.TO and First Quantum Minerals FM.TO rose 3.8% and 3.2%, respectively, tracking higher gold prices.

Spot gold XAU= hovered near a two-month high, while copper gained on optimism around support measures for the Chinese economy. GOL/MET/L

Shares of crypto miners Hut 8 HUT.TO and Bitfarms BITF.TO climbed 2.1% and 3.8%, after Bitcoin BTC= bounced beyond $65,000.

(Reporting by Purvi Agarwal in Bengaluru; Editing by Shilpi Majumdar)


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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