By Shashwat Chauhan
(Reuters) – Canada’s main stock index was subdued on Monday, with energy and technology stocks among the top decliners, at the start of a week packed with interest rate decisions from central banks around the world.
At 10:24 a.m. ET (1524 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was down 15.67 points, or 0.08%, at 20,698.81, paring losses after falling more than 0.5% at the open.
The energy index dropped 0.9% in early trade as oil prices slipped ahead of looming interest rates hikes by major central banks. [O/R]
Technology stocks shed 1.4%, mirroring a decline in their Wall Street peers with the tech-heavy Nasdaq falling more than 1%. [.N]
Limiting the losses were industrial stocks, which gained 1.0%, with Ritchie Bros Auctioneers up 1.6%.
“January equity market rally is taking a breather this morning as investors pause heading into a very consequential week ahead,” said Brandon Michael, senior analyst at ABC Funds in Toronto.
The week is packed with monetary policy decisions from the U.S. Federal Reserve, European Central Bank and the Bank of England, with all expected to hike their overnight lending rates later.
Markets will be on the lookout for Canadian GDP data due Tuesday, which will follow a 25-basis-point rate hike last week from the Bank of Canada, which became the first major central bank to say it would likely hold off on further increases for now.
Among individual stocks, Fairfax Financial Holdings climbed 2.0% after BMO raised the insurer’s rating to “outperform” from “market perform”.
(Reporting by Shashwat Chauhan in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri and Shailesh Kuber)