By Fergal Smith
(Reuters) -Canada’s main stock index ended down on Wednesday as industrial shares fell, but the index closed well above its low for the day as the Bank of Canada raised interest rates to a 15-year high and signaled a pause in its tightening cycle.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index ended down 29.95 points, or 0.2%, at 20,599.60, adding to a small decline on Tuesday.
The S&P 500 also ended lower as a string of corporate earnings ran the gamut from downbeat to dismal, reviving worries over the economic impact of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s restrictive policy.
Canada’s central bank has also been tightening policy. On Wednesday, it hiked its key interest rate by a quarter of a percentage point to 4.5% and became the first major central bank fighting global inflation to say it would likely hold off on further increases for now.
The move matched expectations in a Reuters poll.
“We expect them to be on pause for quite a while,” said Tom O’Gorman, director of fixed income at Franklin Templeton Canada. “We’re not in the camp that they’re easing any time soon.”
Money market expect a rate cut by October.
Industrials fell 2.1%, with Canadian National Railway Co down 4.7% after the company forecast lower 2023 earnings.
Energy was also a drag, ending down 1.1%. U.S. crude oil futures settled 2 cents higher at $80.15 a barrel after a smaller than expected build in U.S. crude inventories.
Shopify Inc was a bright spot, rising nearly 11% after the e-commerce company updated its pricing plan.
(Reporting by Fergal Smith; Additional reporting by Shashwat Chauhan and Shristi Achar A in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri and Diane Craft)