Foreign equity markets advanced as central banks reiterated their accommodative stances and U.S. corporate earnings season was off to an encouraging start. Long-term global government bond yields continued to trek higher. Gold prices rose benefiting from weakness in the U.S dollar, while oil prices edged lower.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index declined led by energy as the Biden administration blocked the Keystone XL pipeline project. Industrials and financials also fell. Technology, utilities, and REITs strengthened. The Bank of Canada left its policy rate unchanged and forecasted negative economic growth for Q1.
The S&P 500 Index (C$) advanced led by the FAANG stocks after a stronger-than-expected earnings report from Netflix Inc. proved to be a tailwind. Reports showed U.S. manufacturing and housing activity posted strong gains in December while weekly initial jobless claims edged lower.
The MSCI EAFE Index (C$) advanced led by gains in tech and discretionary. Energy and financials declined. Europe underperformed as lockdown measures were extended. Asia outperformed as China reported stronger-than-expected Q4 GDP growth. Both the European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan left their policy rates unchanged.