Global equities lost ground as a concerns over the near-term economic outlook tempered optimism over the larger-than-expected U.S. fiscal stimulus package. Global government bond yields drifted lower and the U.S. dollar strengthened. The equity market rotation into small-caps, cyclicals, and value stocks continued.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index declined as staples detracted (Alimentation Couche-Tard) and materials were hampered by lower gold prices. Health-care surged buoyed by cannabis stocks. Canadian home sales soared to new heights in December capping off a record year, however, a more broader economic recovery hinges on the success of vaccine distributions.
The S&P 500 Index (C$) declined amid weakness in technology, consumers sectors, and materials. Energy, REITs, and utilities strengthened. U.S. retail sales and small business sentiment pulled back in December while preliminary estimates also showed consumer confidence dipped in early January.
The MSCI EAFE Index (C$) declined amid weakness in utilities, materials, and consumers sectors. Health-care, communications, and technology edged higher. Regionally, Eurozone and U.K equities were lower while stocks in the Asia-Pacific region outperformed.