The Canadian equities market remained highly volatile on Wednesday, as the U.S. Federal Reserve raised the federal funds rate by 25 basis points for the second time in 2023, despite the ongoing banking sector crisis. After climbing 158 points in intraday trading, the S&P/TSX Composite Index erased these gains later during the session to finally settle at 19,533 — down 122 points, or 0.6%, from its previous closing.
Despite a minor recovery in metals and mining stocks, heavy losses in other major sectors, such as healthcare, real estate, and energy, weighed on the Canadian market index.
In his press conference, the Fed chair Jerome Powell said that the “events in the banking system over the past two weeks are likely to result in tighter credit conditions for households and businesses, which would in turn affect economic outcomes.” Powell suggested that “if the economy evolves as projected,” the federal funds rate might see another hike to 5.1% by the end of 2023 from the current level of 5%.
Top TSX Composite movers and active stocks
Advantage Energy, Birchcliff Energy, Canopy Growth, and Energy Fuels were the worst-performing TSX stocks for the day, as they plunged by at least 4.3% each.
On the positive side, Osisko Mining, Parkland (TSX:PKI), First Majestic Silver, and Torex Gold Resources were among the top performers on the Toronto Stock Exchange, as they inched up by more than 8% each.
Yesterday’s sharp rally in Parkland stock came after the Calgary-based fuel distributor signed an agreement with its largest long-term shareholder, Simpson Oil. The agreement gives Simpson “the right to designate up to two nominees for election to the board of directors of Parkland and includes customary voting support obligations in favour of the board,” the company said in a press release. On a year-to-date basis, PKI stock now trades with about 8% gains.
Based on their daily trade volume, Crescent Point Energy, TC Energy, Suncor Energy, and Enbridge were the most active Canadian stocks on March 22.
Early Thursday morning, metals and West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices were largely trading on a bullish note, pointing to a slightly higher open for the commodity-heavy TSX index today. While no important domestic economic releases are due, Canadian investors may want to closely monitor the latest monthly building permits, new home sales, and weekly jobless claims data from the U.S. market this morning.
On the corporate events front, TSX-listed companies, such as Badger Infrastructure Solutions and BRP, are expected to release their latest quarterly results on March 23.