Canada’s main stock index tumbled Wednesday, after domestic data showing the annual inflation rate accelerated in January raised fears of quicker interest rate hikes and as Shopify Inc’s dismal forecast dented sentiment.
The S&P/TSX Composite remained negative 118.91 points to wind up business Wednesday at 21,383.64.
The Canadian dollar surged 0.24 cents at 78.82 cents U.S.
Shopify lost $188.76, or 16.7%, to $943.86, after the company forecast a slowing pace in first-half revenue growth.
Elsewhere in techs, Converge Technology Solutions bowed 41 cents, or 3.8%, to $10.49.
In consumer staples, Alimentation Couche-Tard faded 82 cents, or 1.6%, to $51.43, while George Weston dropped $1.19 to $138.62.
In utilities, Hydro One slid 41 cents, or 1.3%, to $31.46, while Boralex caved 36 cents, or 1.1%, to $32.93.
In a bright spot, Barrick Gold gained $1.88, or 7.1%, to $28.21, after the miner announced a share repurchase of up to $1 billion and a bigger dividend payout as the gold miner’s fourth-quarter results beat analysts’ estimates. Rival Iamgold picked up 16 cents, or 4.2%, to $3.94.
In materials, Dundee Precious Metals surged 23 cents, or 3%, to $7.97, while Silvercorp Metals increased 14 cents, or 3.1%, to $4.76.
Energy stocks also hurtled higher, with Birchcliff Energy hiking 28 cents, or 4.3%, to $6.82, while Peyto Exploration jumped 22 cents, or 2%, to $10.17.
On the economic slate, Statistics Canada reported that manufacturing sales rose 0.7% in December, mostly attributable to higher sales of plastic and rubber products, as well as motor vehicles.
Wholesale trade rose 0.6% in December to $76.2 billion. Manufacturing sales rose 0.7% in December, mostly attributable to higher sales of plastic and rubber products, as well as motor vehicles.
Gains in the automobile and automobile parts, machinery, equipment and supplies were largely offset by lower sales in a food, beverages and tobacco.
The agency also said its consumer price index rose 5.1% on a year-over-year basis in January 2022, up from a 4.8% gain in December 2021. On a seasonally-adjusted monthly basis, the CPI rose 0.6% in January 2022.
The TSX Venture Exchange lost 1.61 points to 870.06.
All but three of the 12 TSX subgroups actually made headway, with gold climbing 2.9%, materials higher 2.1%, and energy better 0.7%.
The three laggards were information technology, off 3.6%, consumer staples surrendering 0.5%, and utilities, off 0.1%.
The S&P 500 closed flat after volatile trading Wednesday as investors surveyed the latest update from the Federal Reserve and the status of Russia’s military build-up near Ukraine.
The Dow Jones Industrials came off their lows of the day, but still were negative 54.57 points to 34,934.27.
The S&P 500 came out of hiding and actually nosed higher 3.94 points to 4,475.01.
The NASDAQ dipped 15.66 points to 14,125.09.
The major averages cut some losses following the release of the minutes from the Federal Reserve’s January meeting.
Traders were perhaps a bit relieved the release did not indicate the Fed would move any faster than already expected in hiking interest rates.
ViacomCBS was the biggest loser in the S&P 500 on Wednesday, with shares falling more than 17% after the company said it is rebranding itself as Paramount Global to focus on streaming. The company also reported lower-than-expected quarterly earnings.
Facebook parent Meta Platforms shares fell 2% after the tech giant reportedly rolled out a new set of corporate values in its latest attempt to manage its demoralized employees.
NATO officials on Wednesday accused Russia of amassing troops at the Ukrainian border. U.S. and Russian aircraft in the Mediterranean Sea flew close to each other over the weekend, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.
Energy prices, which have been sensitive to the news, moved higher Wednesday. Natural gas rose more than 7%. Oil futures settled 1.7% higher at $93.66 per barrel.
Devon Energy, Schlumberger and Baker Hughes were among the top gainers on the S&P 500 on Wednesday.
On the data front, retail sales surged 3.8% in January, the Census Bureau reported Wednesday. Economists expected the report to show sales rose 2.1% in January after a 1.9% decline in December.
As inflation runs hot, Wall Street is looking ahead to the minutes from the Federal Reserve’s January meeting, which will be released Wednesday at 2 p.m. ET.
Prices for 10-year Treasurys eked up, lowering yields to 2.03%, from Tuesday’s 2.05%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.
Oil prices fell back $1.49 to $90.58 U.S. a barrel.
Gold prices added $13.90 to $1,870.10 U.S. an ounce.