The downward market trend resumed on Wednesday after stocks took a breather from the selloff in the last couple of sessions. The TSX Composite Index fell by 253 points, or 1.3%, for the day to settle at 19,004. While continued weakness in commodities like crude oil, silver, and copper pressured the shares of commodity-linked companies on the TSX, the U.S. Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell’s latest comments about inflation and recession also drove consumer, financials, and healthcare sectors lower.
Inflation worries continue to haunt investors
In his semi-annual monetary policy testimony before Congress, Powell reiterated that the Fed is “strongly committed to bringing inflation back down.” The pace of the American central bank’s monetary policy moves “will continue to depend on the incoming data and the evolving outlook for the economy,” he added.
In addition, the latest inflation numbers in Canada came out much hotter than expected. In May, the country’s consumer price index rose 7.7% from a year ago, marking its highest increase since 1983.
Top TSX movers and active stocks
The shares of Baytex Energy (TSX:BTE)(NYSE:BTE) tanked by 12% yesterday to $6.30 per share. A continued drop in oil prices could be the main reason for this steep drop in Baytex stock, as the shares of most other oil and gas companies also fell sharply on June 22. Notably, the WTI crude oil futures have slipped by about 13.5% since last Monday but continue to trade well above the US$100-a-barrel mark. That’s the key reason Baytex stock tanked by 22% last week.
Other commodity-linked Canadian stocks, like Ivanhoe Mines, Teck Resources, MEG Energy, Tamarack Valley Energy, and Nuvista Energy, were also among the worst-performing stocks, as they fell by at least 9% each Wednesday.
On the flip side, tech stocks like Docebo, Kinaxis, and Shopify were among the top-performing TSX Composite components, as they inched up by 7.7%, 4.1%, and 3.5%, respectively.
Based on their daily trade volume, Baytex Energy, Canadian Natural Resources, Suncor Energy, and Barrick Gold were the most active stocks on the exchange.
TSX today: Economic and earnings events
Early Thursday morning, metals prices were continuing to extend losses while the oil prices were staging a minor recovery. Given these mixed signals from the commodities market, TSX stocks might open on a flat to slightly negative note today.
While no domestic economic releases are due today, Canadian investors may eye on the latest jobless claims data from the U.S. market this morning. Also, Powell’s testimony before Congress will continue today, which could keep TSX stock volatile. On the corporate events front, the Canadian software company BlackBerry will announce its latest quarterly results on June 23. Street analysts expect it to report US$0.05 per share in net loss per share for the May quarter.