Global equities fell sharply as government bond yields surged amid stronger economic growth and inflation expectations. Rising oil prices helped the Canadian dollar briefly top the $0.80/USD mark before the USD benefited from safe-haven flows.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index declined amid weakness in health-care (cannabis stocks) and technology (Shopify Inc.). REITs, financials, and discretionary were the only advancers. The CFIB Business Barometer Index reached 62.5 its highest level since May 2018 showing a notable improvement in business confidence amid optimism around vaccine distribution.
The S&P 500 Index (C$) declined amid weakness in utilities, discretionary, and technology. Energy, benefiting from higher oil prices, was the only sector to advance. Stronger-than-expected economic reports in the U.S. included lower unemployment claims, higher consumer confidence, and robust new home sales.
The MSCI EAFE Index (C$) declined amid weakness in technology, health-care, and staples. Energy and REITs were the only sectors to advance. Regionally, the more tech-heavy Asian equity markets underperformed amid rising inflation worries. European equities benefited from stronger confidence indicators in the region