Most developed equity markets declined as sentiment waned amid a global upswing in new virus-related restrictions.
U.S. equities bucked the trend as stronger-than-expected economic data outweighed virus concerns and fading fiscal stimulus prospects. Defensive flows benefited long-duration assets and safe-haven currencies: the U.S. dollar and Japanese yen, while gold prices retreated.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index declined as all sectors weakened except for industrial and utilities. Health care, REITs, and energy declined the most. Canada’s resilient residential housing market posted record sales in September buoyed by low interest rates, shifting preferences, and pent-up demand.
The S&P 500 Index (C$) advanced led by gains in industrials, communications, and utilities. REITs and energy lagged. U.S. retail sales more than doubled expectations in September and the NFIB Small Business Optimism Index returned to pre-pandemic levels.
The MSCI EAFE Index (C$) declined as all sectors weakened except for utilities. Energy, health care, and financials declined the most.
The U.K. underperformed as the European summit concluded without meaningful progress towards a post-Brexit trading agreement.