(RTTNews) – The Canadian stock market started off on a steady note on Thursday, but pared gains and drifted down gradually and fell a bit deeper into the red during the final hour to eventually close notably lower.
Worries about growth due to the ongoing war in Ukraine, and fears of aggressive monetary tightening by the Federal Reserve and other central banks rendered the mood cautious.
The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index ended with a loss of 185.50 points or 0.84% at 21,890.16, the day’s low. The index touched a high of 22,181.75 in the session.
Healthcare, technology and financials shares declined sharply. Select stocks from consumer staples, communications and utilities sections posted notable gains.
West Fraser Timber (WFG.TO), Shopify Inc (SHOP.TO), Gildan Activewear (GIL.TO), Toronto-Dominon Bank (TD.TO), Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO) lost 2 to 5%.
Descartes Systems Group (DSG.TO), Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO), Canadian National Railway (CNR.TO), Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) and Franco-Nevada Corporation (FNV.TO) also ended notably lower.
Lithium Americas Corp (LAC.TO) rallied 4.7%. Cameco Corporation (CCO.TO), Westshore Terminals (WTE.TO), Precision Drilling (PD.TO), AutoCanada (ACQ.TO) and Tourmaline Oil Corp (TOU.TO) gained 2 to 5%.
Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. (ATD.TO), Canadian Tire Corporation (CTC.TO), Nutrient (NTR.TO), Fairfax Financial Holdings (FFH.TO) and Loblaw Companies (L.TO) also posted strong gains.
On the economic front, a report from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business showed Canada’s CFIB’s Business Barometer long-term index, based on a 12-month business outlook, rose by 2 points to 65.1 in March of 2022.
Data from Statistics Canada showed the Canadian economy expanded 0.2% month-over-month in January of 2022, growing for an eighth successive month, compared to an upwardly revised 0.1% increase in December and in line with market expectations.
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