Equities in Canada’s largest market shed their red readings toward the close on Thursday, following a sharp selloff in global markets after Russia launched an all-out invasion of Ukraine.
The S&P/TSX index struggled to a gain of 17.76 points to conclude Thursday at 20,761.93.
Tech concerns led the parade, with BlackBerry charging ahead 48 cents, or 6%, to $8.45
Health-care stocks also flowered, with Canopy Growth moving ahead 26 cents, or 2.9%, to $9.09.
Among utilities, Algonquin Power and Utilities collected 29 cents, or 1.6%, to $17.97.
Gold and materials reversed roles and took the punishment. Barrick Gold ditched 25 cents to $28.87, while Agnico Eagle Mines fell $3.15, or 4.5%, to $66.58.
Financials also took some lumps, most notably, Canada’s largest bank, the Royal Bank of Canada, which dipped $2.86, or 2%, to $137.63.
On the economic calendar, Statistics Canada the number of employees receiving pay or benefits from their employer rose by 122,200, or 0.7%, in December, the seventh consecutive monthly increase.
The Bank of Canada will raise interest rates by 25 basis points on March 2, earlier than previously thought and ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve, according to economists surveyed in a Reuters poll, which also showed expectations that rates will be higher by year-end than previously thought.
The TSX Venture Exchange fell short of breakeven 2.35 points to 826.27.
Seven of the 12 TSX subgroups had pulled into the positive by the closing bell, with information technology, up 4%, health-care, jumping 2.2%, and utilities, forging ahead 1.2%.
The five laggards were weighed most by gold, fading 1.8%, financials, down 1.5%, and materials, off 0.5%.
The major averages moved higher Thursday, erasing a steep declines from earlier in the session, as investors looked past Russia’s attack of Ukraine.
The Dow Jones Industrial Index came out ahead 92.07 points to 33,233.83, erasing a 859-point decline.
The S&P 500 index gained 63.2 points, or 1.5%, to 4,288.70.
The NASDAQ Composite Index popped 436.10 points, or 3.3%, to 13,473.59, after being down nearly 3.5% at one point in the session.
Investors bought the dip on some of the biggest tech names during Thursday’s volatile session. Amazon, Netflix, Alphabet and Microsoft all traded higher — erasing sharp declines from earlier in the day. Netflix rose 6.1% and Microsoft added 5.1%. Alphabet climbed 3.9% and and Meta Platforms popped 4.6%.
Moscow launched the military action in Ukraine overnight Thursday. There were reports of explosions and missile strikes on several key Ukrainian cities including its capital, Kyiv. Russian President Vladimir Putin called the invasion “the demilitarization” of Ukraine and said Russia’s plans do not include the occupation of Ukrainian territories.
Prices for the 10-year Treasury were higher, lowering yields to 1.97%, from Wednesday’s 1.99%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.
Oil prices gained $1.06, or $93.16 U.S. a barrel.
Gold prices stumbled $10.20 to $1,900.20 U.S. an ounce.