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S&P/TSX composite swings back to losses, ends down more than 200 points


Canada's main stock index ended down more than 1.1 per cent in broad-based declines on continued economic growth concerns, while U.S. stock markets also fell.

The S&P/TSX composite index closed down 207.08 points at 18,441.84 on Thursday, giving up a good chunk of the 341 points of gains a day earlier that had snapped a six-day losing streak.

Stocks had climbed Wednesday in part on news that the Bank of England was reversing policy and going back into buying government bonds to help stabilize the British pound, fuelling speculation of potential easing by central banks elswhere, but the rally proved short-lived.

“Yesterday was perhaps a quick knee-jerk reaction to some of the news coming in,” said Kevin Headland, co-chief investment strategist at Manulife Investment Management. “Today is back to the current environment, the new paradigm shift of sharp rate hikes by the Federal Reserve.”

In New York, the reversal was even sharper. The Dow Jones industrial average ended down 458.13 points, or 1.5 per cent, at 29,225.61. The S&P 500 index was down 78.57 points, or 2.1 per cent, at 3,640.47, while the Nasdaq composite was down 314.13 points, or 2.8 per cent, at 10,737.51.

Markets were likely under pressure from lowered expectations for the upcoming earnings season, said Headland.

“Companies are starting to offer some insight into their expected earnings, that they're perhaps not going to be able to achieve some of the earnings that are expected out there.”

Apple led some jitters after saying Wednesday it wouldn't ramp up production of its iPhone 14 because the demand wasn't there, helping push a wider tech sell-off on Thursday.

On the S&P/TSX, the information technology index was down 2.9 per cent, including Shopify Inc. down almost eight per cent.

The health care index was down about five per cent as several cannabis companies declined including Canopy Growth Corp. down 7.7 per cent, while industrials was down almost one per cent as Air Canada dropped 6.7 per cent.

Financials, telecoms and utilities also retreated, while energy and base metal indexes notched small gains.

Commodity-focused indexes including energy and base metals gained even as several key commodities declined.

The November crude contract was down 92 cents at US$81.23 per barrel and the November natural gas contract was down eight cents at US$6.87 per mmBTU.

The December gold contract was down US$1.40 at US$1,668.60 an ounce and the December copper contract was up six cents at US$3.42 a pound.

Stocks were also under pressure as U.S. Treasury yields gained, which helped push up the U.S. dollar against currencies including the loonie.

The Canadian dollar traded for 72.96 cents US compared with 73.21 cents US on Wednesday.

Headland said he expects less volatility in the days ahead, but it will likely take encouraging news to break the downward momentum in the markets.

“Unfortunately, we're waiting for probably a little more information on the positive side, whether it's earnings, or CPI coming in better than expected, to slow that downside down.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 29, 2022. Top Stories

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