Canadian stocks turned negative on Wednesday as the Bank of Canada surprised Bay Street by raising the key interest rates by 25 basis points, citing “stubbornly high” underlying inflation amid a tight labour market. This triggered a big selloff in tech stocks, driving the TSX Composite benchmark down by 72 points, or 0.4%, during the session to settle at 19,984.
Besides technology, other key market sectors, like healthcare and consumer non-cyclicals, also witnessed heavy losses, pressuring the main TSX index, despite moderate gains in industrial and energy stocks.
Top TSX Composite movers and active stocks
Shares of North West Company (TSX:NWC) tanked 10.8% to $34.25 per share after announcing its worse-than-expected quarterly results. In the first quarter of its fiscal year 2024 (ended in April), the Winnipeg-headquartered retail company’s total revenue rose 7.5% year over year to $593.6 million, exceeding analysts’ estimates.
However, higher interest expense and share-based compensation costs drove North West’s adjusted quarterly earnings down by 19.1% from a year ago to $0.51 per share. Year to date, NWC stock now trades with 3.7% losses.
Shopify, Torex Gold Resources, and Kinaxis were also among the bottom performers on the Toronto Stock Exchange yesterday, as they plunged by at least 5.9% each.
On the positive side, Precision Drilling and Birchcliff Energy rallied at least 4% each, making them the top-performing TSX stocks for the day.
Based on their daily trade volume, Suncor Energy, Pembina Pipeline, Canadian Natural Resources, and Manulife Financial were the most active stocks on the exchange.
Most commodity prices, especially natural gas and precious metals, were trading on a positive note early Thursday morning, pointing to a slightly higher open for the resource-heavy TSX index today. While no major domestic economic releases are due, the equities market may remain volatile, as investors continue to assess the possible impact of higher interest rates on the economy.