Canada’s main stock index closed lower on Friday for a sixth straight session as weaker oil prices dragged on energy shares and investors weighed the risk of central banks raising interest rates too much for the economy to handle.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index ended down 22.12 points, or 0.1%, at 19,947.07, its lowest closing level since Nov. 17. For the week, the index was down 2.6%, its biggest weekly decline since September.
Wall Street also fell as investors awaited a potential 50-basis point interest rate hike by the U.S. Federal Reserve when it makes its policy decision on Wednesday.
“You have this balancing act that the Fed and the Bank of Canada need to do, to bring down the economy slowly to bring down inflation, but don’t bring it down too much where the whole country goes into a deep recession,” said Allan Small, senior investment advisor of the Allan Small Financial Group with iA Private Wealth.
The Bank of Canada will likely need to keep interest rates at or above 4% for most of 2023 to cool an overheated economy and tame high inflation, the International Monetary Fund said.
The Toronto market’s energy sector fell 0.7% as U.S. crude oil futures settled 0.6% lower at $71.02 a barrel. That took oil’s losses for the week to roughly 11%.