TSX Flat on Rate Cut Suspense



Canada’s main stock index opened fairly flat on Friday, as bets of a June rate cut by the Bank of Canada rose after the domestic economy missed first-quarter growth forecast, while the much-awaited U.S. inflation data came in line with estimates, lifting broader sentiment.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index slid 2.74 points to commence the last day of the week and month at 22,068.97.

The Canadian dollar hiked 0.31 cents at 73.38 cents U.S.

In corporate news, Laurentian Bank of Canada booked severance charges of $2.1 million in the second quarter in relation to its organizational changes. Laurentian shares faded $1.42, or 5.3%, to $25.27.

Economically speaking, Statistics Canada says its March GDP was essentially unchanged as both goods-producing and services-producing industries showed little movement in March. GDP increased 0.4%, however, in the first quarter, after posting no change in the fourth quarter of 2023.

The Bank of Canada is expected to initiate interest rate cuts in its June 5 monetary policy meeting, with a 64% probability, while markets are pricing in 35 bps cuts from the Fed this year, with a 49% chance of a rate cut in September.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange dipped 0.19 points to 614.77.

Six of the 12 subgroups were negative, weighed most by information technology, down 0.7%, gold down 0.6%, and financials off 0.2%.

The five gainers were led by communications, up 0.7%, energy, up 0.3%, and consumer discretionary stocks, inching up 0.1%. Health-care issues were unchanged.

ON WALLSTREET

The S&P 500 slipped on Friday, as investors took profits on Nvidia and this week’s market breather continued despite the Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation measure coming in near expectations.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average regained 49.44 points to open Friday at 38,160.92, buoyed by UnitedHealth’s advance of more than 2%.

The S&P 500 slid 21.8 points to 5,213.68.

The NASDAQ ditched 171.41 points, or 1%, to 16,559.96, as Nvidia and other megacap technology stocks took a hit.

The S&P 500 and NASDAQ were each on pace to snap five-week win streaks with slides of more than 1%. The Dow slipped more than 2%, heading for a second straight week of losses.

Despite those moves, it’s shaping up to be a winning May, with each of the major benchmarks set to register a sixth positive month in seven. The Dow is up 0.9% this month, while the S&P 500 is higher by almost 3.5%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite has gained about nearly 6%.

A chunk of May’s gains can be attributed to a surge in Nvidia, which released blockbuster earnings last week. Though the artificial intelligence darling’s stock fell around 1% on Friday, shares are poised to end the month nearly 27% higher. Tesla, Microsoft, Meta and Netflix also dipped more than 1% on Friday, weighing down the broader market.

The core personal consumption expenditures price index increased 0.2% in April, in line with the consensus forecast of economists polled by Dow Jones, according to data released Friday. Core PCE rose 2.8% on an annualized basis, slightly above the 2.7% prediction from economists.

Prices for the 10-year Treasury gained ground, lowering yields to 4.49% from Thursday’s 4.55%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices shed 38 cents to $77.53 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices docked $7.40 to $2,359.10.



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