Equities in Canada’s largest market moved downward by the close Wednesday, as the U.S. Federal Reserve confounded the experts with a smaller-than-anticipated interest rate release.

The TSX Composite unloaded 131.81 points to conclude Wednesday’s session at 19,891.65.

The Canadian dollar eked up 0.04 cents at 73.8 cents U.S.

Cannabis stocks led the way downward Wednesday, with Tilray dropping 24 cents, or 4.9%, to $4.57, while Canopy Growth lost 13 cents, or 3.3%, to $3.81.

In consumer staples, North West Company fell 81 cents, or 2.2%, to $36.86, while Premium Brands Holdings slid $1.07, or 1.3%, to $83.62.

In financials, Definity Financial handed over 85 cents, or 2.2%, to $38.07, while Ia Financial lost $1.66, or 2.1%, to $76.78.

Consumer discretionary stocks did move upward, with Canada Goose Holdings flying 70 cents, or 2.8%, to $26.15, while Uni-Select moved higher 80 cents, or 1.9%, to $43.77.

On the economic scoreboard, Statistics Canada reported manufacturing sales improved 2.8% in October, mainly on higher sales in the petroleum and coal, food and chemical products industries.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange gained 1.2 points to 575.47.

All but two of the 12 subgroups lost ground, with health-care falling 1.4%, consumer staples down 0.9%, and financials settling 0.8%.

Only two held out against the tide, consumer discretionary stocks gaining 0.2%, and energy nosing up but 0.04%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks slid Wednesday as investors absorbed the Federal Reserve’s latest interest rate hike decision in its efforts to crush inflation.

The Dow Jones Industrials collapsed 142.29 points to close Wednesday at 33,966.35.

The S&P 500 folded 24.33 points to 3,995.32

The NASDAQ Composite Index slouched 85.93 points to 11,170.89.

The Fed delivered a widely anticipated 50-basis-point rate hike at the conclusion of its December policy meeting. It’s a smaller bump from the prior four consecutive rate hikes of 75 basis points. A basis point is equal to one-100th of 1%

Major averages hit their lows of the session after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell signaled more data was needed before the central bank would meaningfully change its view of inflation.

Fed officials also forecast raising rates through next year, not lowering rates until 2024. The central bank ultimately sees itself taking rates to 5.1% before it stops hiking, a so-called terminal rate that is higher than the 4.6% level it forecast in September.

Prices for the 10-year Treasury were up slightly, lowering yields to 3.48% from Tuesday’s 3.51%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices progressed two dollars to $77.39 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices docked $6.50 to $1,819.00 U.S. an ounce.

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