TSX Flat in First Hour


Stocks in Toronto were slightly lower to begin April, despite boosts from the materials sector tracking higher prices of gold and copper, while the latest U.S. inflation print boosted hopes of an interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve in June.

The TSX Composite eased 7.99 points to end Thursday at 22,159.04.

The Canadian dollar inched up 0.02 to 73.72 cents U.S.

HSBC Holdings said it had completed the $13.5-billion sale of its Canadian unit, HSBC Bank Canada, to Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) on Thursday.

RBC shares dropped 15 cents to $136.47.

Parkland Corp said on Monday that normal operations had resumed at its Burnaby Refinery in British Columbia after it was shut down after an issue with a processing unit. Parkland shares lost 57 cents, or 1.3%, to $42.57.

On the economic beat, the S&P Global Manufacturing PMI rose to 49.8 in March from 49.7 in February.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange gained 5.26 points to begin Monday at 568.65.

Seven of the 12 TSX subgroups were pointed downward, weighed most by communications, off 1.2%, health-care, off 0.8%, and consumer discretionary stocks, peeling back 0.6%.

The five gainers were led by gold, up 0.9%, materials, stronger 0.7%, and information technology, jumping 0.3%.

ON WALLSTREET

The S&P 500 ticked higher Monday as Wall Street kicked off the second quarter following a strong start to the year, and traders weighed fresh U.S. inflation data.

The Dow Jones Industrials fell 197.94 points to 39,609.43.

The much-broader index removed 0.76 points to 5,253.59.

The NASDAQ revived 59.47 points to 16,438.93.

The major averages are coming off a winning first quarter. The S&P 500 jumped 10.2% for its best first-quarter performance since 2019, while the Dow added 5.6%. The NASDAQ popped 9.1%.

Markets also wrapped up a winning March and their fifth consecutive positive month, with the S&P and Dow rising 3.1% and 2.1%, respectively. The NASDAQ edged up 1.8% for the month.

Ongoing bets on artificial intelligence stocks and tailwinds from Nvidia have continued powering the market higher in the new year after a strong 2023. That comes alongside the expectation for the start of a rate-cutting cycle from the Federal Reserve later this year, with markets pricing in a cut as soon as June.

The personal consumption expenditures price index excluding food and energy, released Friday during the market closure for Good Friday, showed inflation rose 2.8% in February, which is in line with expectations. The inflation gauge closely watched by the Federal Reserve also rose 0.3% from a month ago, the Commerce Department said.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell also said Friday that policymakers don’t need to rush an interest rate cut with economic growth still strong and inflation above target.

Prices for the 10-year Treasury moved sharply backward, raising yields to 4.31% from Thursday’s 4.21%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices were unchanged at $83.17 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices picked up $18.00 to $2,241.80 U.S. an ounce.



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