Metals, financials boost index
The Canadian Press - Sep 15, 2023 - Business Buzz

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TORONTO — Strength in battery metals and financial stocks helped Canada’s main stock index eke out a small gain Friday, while U.S. markets fell, led by losses in tech.

Markets in the U.S. largely gave back the gains they made Thursday after the successful market debut of semiconductor firm Arm Holdings Inc. helped boost stocks.

The S&P/TSX composite index closed up 54.50 points at 20,622.34. That capped a week of daily increases after a week of nothing but losses.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 288.87 points at 34,618.24. The S&P 500 index was down 54.78 points at 4,450.32, while the Nasdaq composite was down 217.72 points at 13,708.33.

The TSX more or less broke even, while U.S. markets sank largely due to the difference in index composition, noted Michael Greenberg, senior vice-president and portfolio manager at Franklin Templeton Investment Solutions.

Canadian markets are more exposed to commodities, helping boost the index, while tech plays a much larger role in the U.S. The tech-focused Nasdaq led losses south of the border, falling 1.56%.

“When you have technology shares fairly challenged, that’s obviously going to affect the U.S. a lot more than Canada,” Greenberg said.

Next week the U.S. Federal Reserve is due for its next interest rate decision. The central bank is expected to hold its key rate and could hike again later in the year, Greenberg said. But the bigger question is whether the rate cuts the market is pricing in for next year are too optimistic, he said, and what rates could look like over the longer term.

“From a cyclical standpoint, we do expect rates will start to go down next year,” he said.

But over the longer term, Greenberg said he expects more volatility.

The Canadian dollar traded for 73.93 cents US compared with 73.99 cents US on Thursday.

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