Canada’s main stock index fell on Friday, and was on course to record its worst weekly performance in eight months, pressured by healthcare stocks.
At 9:48 am ET (1348 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was down 35.8 points, or 0.18%, at 20,034.45, dragged by an about 1% drop in healthcare and consumer staple stocks.
“Investors can breathe a sigh of relief now that September, historically the weakest month of the year, is in the books,” said Brandon Michael, senior analyst at ABC Funds.
“We’re now into October – a month that is typically associated with bullish reversals and above average monthly returns. Using seasonality as a guide, we are heading into the best fourth month stretch of the year.”
Canadian stocks have gained more than 15% this year, helped by accommodative central bank policies and hopes of an economic recovery, although persisting fears of inflation and a slowdown in global economic growth have knocked the index down from the record highs touched recently.
Limiting losses, energy stocks rose 0.6% on Friday and were on track to record its third straight week in gains.
Data released on Friday showed the nation’s economy sputtered slightly in July on decreases in agriculture, manufacturing and construction, but is likely to have rebounded sharply in August.
Lightspeed Commerce Inc and Docebo Inc were the biggest decliners on the index.
The TSX posted two new 52-week highs and two new lows.
Across all Canadian issues there were eight new 52-week highs and 10 new lows, with total volume of 39.94 million shares. (Reporting by Amal S in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel)