By Fergal Smith
TORONTO (Reuters) – Canada’s main stock index fell on Wednesday after hitting a record high in the previous session as weakness in the technology and financials sectors countered gains in commodity-related stocks.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX Composite Index ended down 142.17 points, or 0.64%, at 21,932.18, its first close lower since March 14.
The index hit new highs in recent days as investors bet on battered tech stocks and rising metal and oil prices boosted commodity-related sectors.
“I think part of the good performance was the market scramble out of bonds, given their recent fall, and they moved into equities almost as a sort of default hedge,” said Stuart Cole, Chief Macro-Economist at Equiti Capital. .
“But the current climate is also not really positive for equities, which is why we see the fluctuations that we see.”
The tech group fell 2.3%, trailing weakness in the tech-heavy U.S. Nasdaq index, while financials ended down nearly 2%.
The energy sector rose 1.9% to a two-week high as disruptions to Russian and Kazakh crude exports through the Caspian Pipeline Consortium added to worries about tight global supplies.
U.S. crude oil futures settled up 5.2% at $114.93 a barrel, while gold rose 1.3% to around $1,946 an ounce, investors turning to bullion to hedge against soaring inflation and uncertainty caused by the Ukraine crisis.
The materials group, which includes precious and base metal miners and fertilizer companies, added 1.4%.
(Reporting by Fergal Smith; Additional reporting by Amal S in Bengaluru)