By Fergal Smith
- TSX ends down 100.38 points, or 0.5%, at 20,907.82
- Posts lowest closing level since Jan. 28
- Both industrials and consumer discretionary fall 1.2%
- Energy gains 0.2% as oil notches a 7-year high
TORONTO, Feb 22 (Reuters) – Canada’s main stock index fell on Tuesday to its lowest level in nearly four weeks as investors worried that escalating tensions between Russia, one of the world’s top oil producers, and Ukraine could hurt the global economic outlook.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index (.GSPTSE) ended down 100.38 points, or 0.5%, at 20,907.82, its fourth straight decline and its lowest closing level since Jan. 28.
Wall Street also fell as U.S. President Joe Biden announced the first wave of sanctions against Russia for what he said was the beginning of an invasion of Ukraine. read more
Investors worry that a conflict in Ukraine would disrupt energy supplies.
“It suppresses growth long-term and it increases inflationary pressures,” said Ben Jang, portfolio manager at Nicola Wealth.
“It enhances the concern the market had before, which was the concerns on inflation and the aggressiveness of central banks hiking rates.”
Both the Bank of Canada and the U.S. Federal Reserve are expected to begin next month a cycle of interest rate hikes.
Both the industrials and consumer discretionary sectors fell 1.2%. Healthcare was down 2.8%, including declines for cannabis producers.
Energy gained 0.2% as the price of oil touched its highest level since August 2014, while heavily weighted financials added 0.1% ahead of the start of bank earning season on Thursday.
Analysts believe that Canadian banks are set to report higher first-quarter earnings from a year ago, aided by low provisions for credit losses and improving loan demand. read more