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TSX falls by most in 13 months as hawkish Fed, new variant weigh

11/30/2021 | 04:34pm EST
FILE PHOTO: A sign board displaying Toronto Stock Exchange stock information is seen in Toronto

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index on Tuesday tumbled to its lowest level in nearly seven weeks, pressured by hawkish comments from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell and worries that existing vaccines may not hold up against the COVID-19 Omicron variant.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index ended down 489.01 points, or 2.3%, at 20,659.99, its biggest decline since October 2020 and its lowest closing level since Oct. 13. For the month, it lost 1.8%.

"Canada is basically getting caught up in a general pullback in equity markets around the world," said Colin Cieszynski, chief market strategist at SIA Wealth Management.

Wall Street's main indexes fell after Powell signaled that the U.S. central bank would consider speeding up its withdrawal of bond purchases as inflation risks increase, piling pressure onto a market already nervous about the variant.

The CEO of drugmaker Moderna warned that COVID-19 vaccines are unlikely to be as effective against the variant.

U.S. crude oil futures settled 5.4% lower at $66.18 a barrel, while the TSX's energy sector lost 2.9%.

The heavily weighted financials group ended 2.8% lower even as Bank of Nova Scotia kicked off Canadian banks' fourth-quarter results reporting with better-than-expected profits driven by lower provisions.

Technology declined 2.1% and industrials were down 2.2%.

Domestic economic data was encouraging, showing the economy growing an annualized rate of 5.4% in the third quarter, but gained little traction with stock market investors.

"Q3 is quite a ways back in the rearview mirror ... the market is focusing on other things now," Cieszynski said.

(Reporting by Fergal Smith; Additional reporting by Susan Mathew and Anisha Sircar in Bengaluru; Editing by Sandra Maler)

By Fergal Smith

ę Reuters 2021
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
AUSTRALIAN DOLLAR / US DOLLAR (AUD/USD) 0.57% 0.7255 Delayed Quote.-1.02%
BRITISH POUND / US DOLLAR (GBP/USD) 0.20% 1.36326 Delayed Quote.0.59%
CANADIAN DOLLAR / US DOLLAR (CAD/USD) 0.19% 0.80063 Delayed Quote.1.13%
ENBRIDGE INC. -0.69% 52.4 Delayed Quote.6.70%
EURO / US DOLLAR (EUR/USD) 0.04% 1.13459 Delayed Quote.-0.36%
GOLD 0.35% 1845.307 Delayed Quote.-0.82%
INDIAN RUPEE / US DOLLAR (INR/USD) 0.03% 0.013439 Delayed Quote.-0.13%
LONDON BRENT OIL 0.39% 87.94 Delayed Quote.13.65%
MAG SILVER CORP. 0.96% 20.94 Delayed Quote.-2.62%
MODERNA, INC. -0.17% 174.06 Delayed Quote.-31.46%
NEW GOLD INC. -0.44% 2.24 Delayed Quote.19.05%
NEW ZEALAND DOLLAR / US DOLLAR (NZD/USD) 0.20% 0.67908 Delayed Quote.-0.98%
NOVA LTD. 1.50% 125.98 Delayed Quote.-15.28%
OSISKO MINING INC. 3.90% 4.24 Delayed Quote.7.61%
PELOTON INTERACTIVE, INC. 0.50% 32.01 Delayed Quote.-10.96%
REGENERON PHARMACEUTICALS 0.44% 620.18 Delayed Quote.-2.12%
S&P 500 0.49% 4554 Delayed Quote.-4.90%
S&P GSCI BRENT CRUDE INDEX 0.40% 742.1285 Delayed Quote.11.91%
S&P GSCI CRUDE OIL INDEX 0.23% 468.8149 Delayed Quote.14.08%
S&P/TSX COMPOSITE INDEX 0.26% 21259.38 Delayed Quote.-0.08%
SILVER 1.76% 24.506 Delayed Quote.0.70%
THE BANK OF NOVA SCOTIA -0.23% 90.87 Delayed Quote.1.73%
WTI 0.67% 85.521 Delayed Quote.12.73%
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