Tech sector helps lift S&P/TSX composite from energy losses, U.S. markets mixed

Rosa Saba, The Canadian Press
Tech sector helps lift S&P/TSX composite from energy losses, U.S. markets mixed

TORONTO — Canada’s main stock index shored itself up against losses in the energy sector for the second day in a row, while U.S. markets were mixed. 

The S&P/TSX composite index was down 10.61 points at 20,740.44.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 39.02 points at 34,053.94.The S&P 500 index was up 60.55 points at 4,179.76, while the Nasdaq composite was up 384.50 points at 12,200.82.

Markets were buoyed for a second day in a row by optimism that central bank interest rate hikes were near their end after the Federal Reserve’s announcement and comments Wednesday, said Vincent Tonietto, a senior vice-president and portfolio manager at Fiduciary Trust Canada.

With increasing clarity from central banks on the interest rate trajectory for 2023 and a steady stream of data indicating the economy isn’t falling off a cliff, investors seem to have a little more appetite for risk, said Tonietto. 

“Sentiment has been super negative for the past 12 months,” said Tonietto, and investors have been looking for any reason to shift that trend. 

That optimism was particularly evident in the tech sector, which is more sensitive to interest rate policies, he said. 

In particular, shares of Meta, Facebook’s parent company, soared more than 23 per cent Thursday after the company reported results the evening before. Investors seemed to respond positively to the company announcing a $40 billion stock buyback as well as better revenue than expected. 

In Canada, the energy index was down almost three per cent, but strength in technology and industrials helped the composite end the day largely unchanged. 

Some of the biggest energy companies on the index dragged down the sector, with Suncor Energy down 3.75 per cent. The North American energy sector was broadly down, with energy on the S&P 500 down 2.5 per cent, according to financial markets firm Refinitiv. 

The Canadian dollar traded for 75.12 cents US compared with 75.07 cents US on Wednesday.

The March crude contract was down 53 cents at US$75.88 per barrel and the March natural gas contract was down a penny at US$2.46 per mmBTU.

The April gold contract was down US$12.00 at US$1,930.80 an ounce and the March copper contract was down two cents at US$4.09 a pound.

— With files from The Associated Press

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 2, 2023.

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

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