By Purvi Agarwal
Feb 9 (Reuters) – Canada’s main stock index edged lower on Friday led by losses in consumer discretionary stocks and downbeat sentiment after strong domestic job growth spurred fears that Bank of Canada will keep rates higher for longer.
At 10:36 a.m. ET (15:36 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 19.23 points, or 0.09%, at 20,900.41.
The benchmark index was on track for its worst week since November last year.
Consumer discretionary stocks .GSPTTCD led declines, falling 1.4% and were on track to log their worst day in over a month.
Auto parts supplier Magna International MG.TO lost 6.0% after the company forecast its 2024 profit figures below estimates, dragging the Consumer discretionary sector with it.
“Corporate earnings are the main thing that’s moving markets these days. Earnings season is always a little more volatile since we see what companies are actually able to produce”, says Scott Blair, chief investment officer at CWB Wealth.
Rate-sensitive technology shares .SPTTTK gained 1.2% reaching their highest level in over two years.
The materials sector .GSPTTMT that houses Canadian miners slipped 1.1%, and the utility sector .GSPTTUT fell 0.4%, both set to be among the worst-performing sectors this week.
The Canadian economy added a net 37,300 jobs in January, beating expectations, while wage growth slowed slightly, data showed on Friday. The unemployment rate in Canada declined to 5.7%, posting its first decline in 13 months.
“Interest rates could stay higher for longer if this wage bill does not start to moderate”, Blair added.
Stateside, U.S. monthly consumer price inflation was revised marginally lower for December by the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, supporting expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve will cut interest rates this year.
Among individual stocks, dairy product manufacturer Saputo SAP.TOslid 5.2% after it reported third-quarter revenue below estimates.
Pot producer Canopy Growth WEED.TO gained 2.3% after it reported a smaller third-quarter loss on Friday.
(Reporting by Purvi Agarwal in Bengaluru; Editing by Tasim Zahid)
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