TSX posts weekly decline as Fed's more hawkish stance weighs

·1-min read
FILE PHOTO: A sign board displaying Toronto Stock Exchange stock information is seen in Toronto

By Fergal Smith

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index edged slightly lower on Friday, adding to this week's decline, as oil prices fell and investors assessed the economic impact of expected interest rate hikes from the Federal Reserve.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index ended down 0.77 points at 20,739.01. For the week, it fell 0.7%.

"The market is still trying to digest the Fed interest rate comments and how all that will impact the economy over time." said Lorne Steinberg, president of Lorne Steinberg Wealth Management Inc.

The Fed on Wednesday signaled it could hike interest rates three times next year, while Canada's central bank has also turned more hawkish.

The energy group fell 2.1% as surging cases of the Omicron coronavirus variant raised fears that new restrictions may hit demand for oil. U.S. crude oil futures settled 2.1% lower at $70.86 a barrel.

The heavily-weighted financials group was also a drag, falling 0.7%.

In contrast, gains for cannabis producers helped lift the healthcare sector by 2.9%. And technology shares climbed 1.4% as Canada's 10-year yield touched its lowest level in nearly three months at about 1.300%, increasing the value to investors of expected future cash flows.

Low long-term rates help support technology because the sector is "the most expensive part of the market," Steinberg said.

(Reporting by Fergal Smith; Additional reporting by Amal S in Bengaluru; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

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