Global equities declined as the repricing of U.S. tech stocks continued in light of concerns over elevated valuations and fading fiscal stimulus. North American yield curves steepened as the U.S. Federal Reserve reiterated its policy shift on inflation. Oil prices surged amid a drawdown in U.S. inventories.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index edged lower as weakness in I.T., communications, and energy outweighed gains in health care and bond-proxy sectors (utilities, REITs). The Bank of Canada cited risks posed by the “uneven economic recovery” ahead of this week’s throne speech, noting the surge in real estate and retail sales despite sluggish jobs growth.
The S&P 500 Index (C$) declined as FAANG stocks continued to trend lower weighing on discretionary, communications, and I.T.; staples also weakened. Energy and industrial advanced. The U.S. yield curve steepened amid rising long-term rates as the Federal Reserve signaled its policy rate will remain on hold until 2023 and it would tolerate above target future inflation.
The MSCI EAFE Index (C$) advanced as health care, I.T., and communications strengthened enough to offset weakness in energy and financials. Regionally, Japanese equities outperformed. The Bank of England stoked speculation that it may resort to negative interest rates in the future to support the U.K. economy which remains mired in sluggish growth amid Brexit uncertainty.