CANADA STOCKS-Energy shares drag Toronto index; cenbank meeting eyed

·2 min read

(Updates prices, adds analyst comment)

By Amal S

Oct 27 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index fell on Wednesday as energy shares lost their footing on weaker oil prices, while investors awaited cues from the central bank on its timeline for tightening monetary policy.

At 9:38 a.m. ET (13:38 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was down 41.23 points, or 0.19%, at 21,132.22.

The energy sector fell 1.2%, extending losses for the second session, as oil prices fell after industry data showed U.S. crude stockpiles rose more than expected.

The Bank of Canada is scheduled to meet at 10:00 a.m. ET on Wednesday. It could raise rates as early as the third quarter of next year, according to economists polled by Reuters, which is at least three months earlier than previously forecast.

The central bank is facing increasing pressure to hike interest rates ahead of schedule, amid hot inflation and a recovering job market in Canada.

"With the federal election now over, the path is clear for the central bank to resume tapering back its asset purchase program," said Colin Cieszynski, chief market strategist, SIA Wealth Management.

Adding to losses was the materials sector, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, falling 0.3%.

After snapping a seven-month winning streak in September, the Canadian equity index has gained 6% so far this month, on course for its best monthly performance since November 2020.

HIGHLIGHTS

Miners Capstone Mining Corp and First Quantum Minerals Ltd were the biggest decliners on the TSX.

The TSX posted two new 52-week highs and one new low.

Across all Canadian issues, there were 12 new 52-week highs and seven new lows, with a total volume of 25.05 million shares. (Reporting by Amal S in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.)

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