TSX posts lowest weekly close in 20 months as oil prices fall

Canada’s main stock index fell on Friday as lower commodity prices pressured resource shares and investors weighed signs that Bank of Canada interest rate hikes are taking a toll on the domestic housing market.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index (.GSPTSE) ended down 287.28 points, or 1.5%, at 18,326.25.

That was the index’s lowest closing level in weekly charts since February 2021. It was down 1.4% for the week.

“We are in a slowing growth environment, but not in a recession, as potentially the narrative suggests,” said Angelo Kourkafas, investment strategist at Edward Jones Investments. “The interest rate sensitive sectors of the market like housing is cooling down at a meaningful pace.”

Canadian home sales fell 3.9% in September from August, with actual monthly activity about 12% below the pre-pandemic 10-year average, data from the Canadian Real Estate Association showed.

The Bank of Canada has raised interest rates by three percentage points since March to a 14-year high of 3.25% in an effort to subdue inflation.

Meanwhile, worsening inflation expectations kept intact worries that the Federal Reserve would continue with its rapid pace of tightening, contributing to losses on Wall Street.

The Toronto market’s energy group fell 3.4% as U.S. crude oil futures settled 3.9% lower at $85.61 a barrel.

Canada will look at supporting more liquefied natural gas terminals as long as they are economically feasible because they are needed to keep the world from burning coal again amid the current energy crunch, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said.

The materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, lost 4% as gold and copper prices declined.

Industrials fell 1.8% and utilities ended 1.7% lower.