North American equities outperformed as accelerated vaccine rollouts and stronger economic data pull forward timelines for an expected return to normal. Sector rotation continued as energy benefited from rallying oil prices and banks benefited from steeper yield curves while technology and growth stocks retreated amid higher rates.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index advanced led by energy, communications, staples, and financials. Technology declined sharply. Health care and utilities also waned. Statistics Canada published its first estimate of Q4 GDP reporting a 9.6% annualized gain which exceeded the consensus estimate of 7.5%.
The S&P 500 Index (C$) advanced led by double-digits gains in energy. Financials and industrials posted solid gains while discretionary, technology, and REITs declined. U.S. nonfarm payrolls saw an increase of 379,000 jobs, which topped forecasts, while the unemployment rate remained steady at 6.3%.
The MSCI EAFE Index (C$) declined amid weakness in technology, health care, and utilities. Energy, financials, and staples advanced. U.K. equities outperformed amid plans to ease lockdown restrictions while Japan underperformed as Tokyo extended its state of emergency.