CANADA STOCKS-Tech stocks drive Toronto index lower; BoC leaves key rate unchanged

·2 min read

(Updates prices, adds information on BoC rate decision)

By Amal S

Dec 8 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index fell on Wednesday, weighed down by technology shares, while the Bank of Canada held its key overnight interest rate unchanged and maintained its rate-hike stance.

At 10:18 a.m. ET (15:18 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was down 89.31 points, or 0.42%, at 21,073.34.

Leading losses in the index was the technology sector , down 3.1%, with Nuvei Corp falling 50.1% following a new short call from Spruce Point Capital Management.

The Bank of Canada held its key overnight interest rate at 0.25%, as expected, and maintained its guidance that the first increase could come as soon as April 2022.

"That shouldn't be a surprise. The surprise would have been if they went more hawkish, but they didn't, they're generally bullish on the economy and they're still trying to talk down inflation," said Colin Cieszynski, chief market strategist at SIA Wealth Management.

Investors were cautious as recent employment and trade numbers have been strong, which could have prompted the central bank to potentially move forward its schedule for raising interest rates.

The central bank also warned that flooding in British Columbia and the emerging Omicron coronavirus variant could weigh on economic growth by worsening supply chain disruptions and curbing demand for some services.

The energy sector dropped 0.3% on lower oil prices as investors assessed the impact of the Omicron coronavirus variant on the global economy and fuel demand.

The materials sector, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, added 0.2%.

HIGHLIGHTS

The TSX posted three new 52-week highs and no new low.

Across Canadian issues, there were nine new 52-week highs and 15 new lows, with total volume of 67.77 million shares. (Reporting by Amal S in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi)

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting