S&P/TSX composite index down on widespread losses, U.S. stocks also down

TORONTO — Canada's main stock index ended down Monday on widespread losses driven by rising concerns about economic growth that also pushed U.S. markets lower.

"It’s down right across the board, all the major indexes, the Canadian dollar, gold, oil, pretty much you name it, most of the sectors are down," said Michael Currie, vice-president and investment adviser at TD Wealth.

The declines, a continuation of market pressure in recent weeks, have accelerated since U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell emphasized last week what he was willing to do to get inflation under control, said Currie.

“Chairman Powell seemed to allude to the fact that they're not really concerned if there's a recession, it’s just all about inflation, he’ll do whatever it takes, which really means interest rates will just kind of go up and up. Most firms are upgrading how high their rates are going to go, and it seems that for just about everything, higher rates are bad news.”

The growth outlook also took a knock Monday after the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development warned of slowing growth as Russia's war in Ukraine and the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic act as a drag on the global economy.

The organization also downgraded its outlook for growth in Canada to 3.4 per cent this year and 1.5 per cent in 2023. The forecast was down from its June economic outlook that predicted growth in Canada to be 3.8 per cent this year and 2.6 per cent next year.

The darkening outlook left the S&P/TSX composite index down 153.94 points at 18,327.04 on Monday, making for a loss of about a thousand points since the last week's Fed decision, and more than 1,800 points since Powell hinted at much the same at Jackson Hole in late August.

Energy led declines with the S&P/TSX index down 3.4 per cent on the day, including drops of almost eight per cent from Baytex Energy Corp. and Athabasca Oil Corp.

The sector was down as oil November crude contract was down US$2.03 per barrel at US$76.71, while the November natural gas contract was up 2.2 cents at US$7.01 per mmBTU.

Utilities, base metals and telecoms also declined, while industrials and information technology made modest gains.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 329.60 points at 29,260.81. The S&P 500 index was down 38.19 points at 3,655.04, while the Nasdaq composite was down 65.01 points at 10,802.92.

Rising U.S. interest rates and economic fears have led to strong gains for the U.S. dollar that accelerated Monday as investors fled the British pound over concerns of a huge tax cut plan.

The rising U.S. dollar, along with falling stocks and energy prices, pushed the Canadian dollar to 72.91 cents US, compared with 73.69 cents US on Friday, to push it below 73 cents for the first time since the early days of the pandemic.

A higher U.S. dollar, and rising U.S. treasury yields, also put pressure on gold, which was down US$22.20 at US$1,633.40 an ounce for its lowest level in more than two years, while the December copper contract was down five cents at US$3.30 a pound.

The trends pushing up the U.S. dollar, and so many other assets down, don't look to end any time soon, said Currie.

“As long as you've got such a dominant country like the States with high interest rates, then globally, money is just going to flock there until somebody offers better, or the rates come down, and there's no perception that either of those things are happening any time soon.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 26, 2022.

Companies in this story: (TSX:GSPTSE, TSX:CADUSD=X)

The Canadian Press