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TSX Drops Wednesday

Stocks in Canada’s biggest centre dropped like a stone Wednesday, as uncertainty over inflation fueled investor fears.

The TSX Composite remained negative 162.65 points to conclude Wednesday at 22,199.13.

The Canadian dollar handed over 0.57 cents at 73.11 cents U.S.

Real-estate concerns proved the heaviest anchor on the index, with Colliers International Group docking $6.33, or 3.9%, to $156.34, while Canadian Apartment REIT units shed $1.48, or 3.3%, to $44.11.

In health-care issues, Bausch Health Companies lost 34 cents, or 2.7%, to $12.20, while Sienna Senior Living fell 35 cents, or 2.6%, to $13.12.

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Utilities were also bruised, as Brookfield Infrastructure Partners dumped $1.74, or 4.4%, to $37.90, while Brookfield Renewable Partners fell $1.13, or 3.6%, to $29.95.

Energy shares tried to balance things out, as Kelt Exploration grabbed 42 cents, or 6.7%, to $6.67, while Athabasca Oil hiked 32 cents, or 6.1%, to $5.56.

The BoC today held its target for the overnight rate at 5%, with the Bank Rate at 5.25% and the deposit rate at 5%. The Bank is continuing its policy of quantitative tightening.

Meantime, money market participants are pricing in a little over 72% bets of a cut in June.

Also, Statistics Canada reported the total monthly value of building permits in Canada increased 9.3% from January to $11.8 billion in February.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange eased 0.87 points to 587.30.

All but one of the 12 TSX subgroups were negative on the day, with real-estate sliding 2.4%, health-care caving 2.2%, and utilities off 1.9%.

The lone holdout was in energy, up 1.8%.

ON WALLSTREET

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Stocks tanked on Wednesday after March inflation data came in hotter than expected, likely pushing off interest rate cuts by the Federal Reserve that investors have been anticipating.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted 422.16 points, or 1.1%, to 38,461.51.

The S&P 500 slumped 49.27 points, or 1%, to 5,160.64.

The NASDAQ sank 136.28 points to 16,170.36.

Bank shares, including JPMorgan Chase, dipping 1%, and industrial shares like Honeywell, slipped 1.9% on worries higher rates will start to suffocate the economy. Once red-hot tech stocks Microsoft lost 0.9% while pulled back 0.7%.

Except for energy, all sectors in the broad market index were in the red for the day. Real estate fell around 4%, leading sector losses for the day. The S&P 500 had been treading water in April in anticipation of this inflation report following a roaring start to the year where the benchmark rallied 10%, its best first-quarter gain in five years.

The CPI in March rose 0.4% for the month and 3.5% year-over-year, versus estimates of a 0.3% monthly increase and 3.4% year-over-year, according to economists polled by Dow Jones. Core CPI, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, accelerated 0.4% from the previous month while rising 3.8% from a year ago, compared to estimates for 0.3% and 3.7%, respectively. CPI in April increased at a 3.2% annual pace for all items.

Investor sentiment was further dampened following the release of March’s Fed meeting minutes, which reflected officials’ concerns that inflation isn’t moving quickly enough toward the Fed’s 2% target.

Prices for the 10-year Treasury swooned, raising yields to 4.55% from Tuesday’s 4.36%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices gained $1.05 to $86.28 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices docked $13.70 to $2,348.70 U.S. an ounce.