TSX on track for worst year since 2018

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Dec. 30 (Reuters) –

Canadian materials stocks led the main equity index lower on the final day of trading in a difficult year marked by tighter monetary conditions, geopolitical tensions and recession fears.

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As of 10:50 a.m. ET (1550 GMT) on Friday, the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX Composite Index was down 14.84 points, or 0.08%, at 19,471.05. It has lost 8.4% this year and was on track for its first annual decline since 2018.

Bucking the general trend, shares of Rogers Communications Inc jumped 5.5% after Canada’s antitrust court approved its C$20 billion ($14.77 billion) bid for rival Shaw Communications, ending months of uncertainty over the merger. Shares of Shaw gained 9.2%.

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The broader telecommunications sector climbed 3.2%, on pace with its best day in more than eight months.

« The tone of things can change… For example, this year people have been more focused on interest rates, next year they may be more focused on corporate earnings, but that’s a bit mixed right now, » said Colin Cieszynski, head of the market. strategist at SIA Wealth Management.

The Bank of Canada raised its benchmark overnight interest rate by half a percentage point to the highest level in nearly 15 years earlier this month, but signaled that its unprecedented tightening campaign was coming to an end.

The materials sector, which includes precious and base metal miners and fertilizer companies, lost 0.6%

Energy stocks gained 0.3% as oil prices rose slightly.

Canada’s energy sector has outperformed this year, as oil prices rose in a volatile year marked by tight supplies due to the war in Ukraine and weaker demand from the first world crude oil importer, China.

(Reporting by Shashwat Chauhan in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Devika Syamnath)


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