TSX Ends Weak After Another Lackluster Session

The Canadian stock market opened weak on Wednesday and stayed in negative territory right through the day's session, as investors remained cautious and looked ahead to U.S. inflation data for directional clues.

The Bank of Canada today held its key rates and QE unchanged, as expected.

The central bank left its key overnight rate unchanged at 0.25%, as expected. The central bank has also kept its quantitative easing program at a target pace of $3 billion per week, following a C$1 billion reduction in the previous meeting.

The central bank said there is considerable excess capacity in the Canadian economy, and that the recovery continues to require extraordinary monetary policy support. The bank added that it remains committed to holding the policy interest rate at the effective lower bound until economic slack is absorbed so that the 2% inflation target is sustainably achieved.

The central bank had said in April that a change in its stance is unlikely to happen atleast till the second half of 2022.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index ended down 63.65 points or 0.32% at 20,002.27.

Information technology, consumer discretionary, financial and telecom stocks exhibited weakness, while healthcare stocks turned in a fine performance. Materials, energy, utilities and real estate stocks closed mixed.

Tilray Inc (TLRY.TO), up 6.1%, was the top gainer in the healthcare section. Trillium Therapeutics (TRIL.TO) climbed nearly 4.5%, Aurora Cannabis (ACB.TO) moved up 2.1% and Aurinia Pharmaceuticals (AUP.TO) gained 1.4%.

ARC Resources (ARX.TO), Baytex Energy (BTE.TO), Imperial Oil (IMO.TO), Cenovus Energy (CVE.TO) and Organigram Holdings (OGI.TO) posted modest gains.

Among prominent losers, BlackBerry (BB.TO) shares ended more than 4% down. Telus Corporation (T.TO), Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) declined 1.8%, Rogers Communications (RCI.B.TO) ended 1.2% down.

Manulife Financial (MFC.TO), Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO), Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) and Suncor Energy (SU.TO) lost 0.6 to 1%.

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