TSX muted heading into Christmas weekend, energy stocks provide support

TSX muted heading into Christmas weekend, energy stocks provide support

23 Dec    Finance News, PMN Business, REU

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Canada’s main stock index was muted heading into the Christmas weekend on Friday, with investors digesting U.S. economic data that offered evidence of cooling inflation.

At 10:04 a.m. ET (1504 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was down 7.73 points, or 0.04%, at 19,341.93, on track to decline for the third straight week.

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Wall Street’s main indexes were choppy as data showed U.S. consumer spending barely rose in November, while inflation cooled further, but not enough to perhaps discourage the Federal Reserve from driving interest rates to higher levels next year.

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“Economic slowdown is the major trend that is moving developed world markets in the last few months,” said Brian Madden, chief investment officer at First Avenue Investment Counsel in Toronto.

“It was inflation earlier this year and now that is in the rear-view mirror, in front of us is the looming risk of an economic slowdown and a likely recession in Canada and the U.S.”

Energy led gains, up 2.1% as oil prices rose more than 2% on Russia supply worries.

Technology stocks shed 2.0%, as yields on the Canadian 10-year benchmark note rose.

Commodity-fueled gains earlier in the year have helped the benchmark index outperform the U.S. S&P 500 index so far this year, losing 8.9% versus a 20.2% drop in the U.S. benchmark.

Meanwhile, data showed the Canadian economy grew by 0.1% in October versus September, meeting expectations, with another 0.1% increase in GDP seen likely in November.

Among individual stocks, Superior Plus Corp continued its rally from Thursday, gaining 5.9% after the natural gas supplier is set to acquire Certarus Ltd for C$1.05 billion ($771 million) including debt. (Reporting by Shashwat Chauhan in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)

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