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TSX Takes Body Blows Wednesday

Equities in Canada’s largest centre fared little better than their American cousins Wednesday, as suspense over interest rates gripped investors on both sides of the line.

The TSX stumbled 186.8 points to close Wednesday at 20,226.96.

The Canadian dollar was little changed at 73.32 cents U.S.

Health-care took the worst pounding Wednesday, with Tilray punished 19 cents, or 4.5%, to $4.04, while Chartwell Retirement Residences sank 23 cents, or 2.2%, to $10.20.

In the utility sector, Northland Power dipped $1.53, or 6.2%, to $23.72, while Innergex dipped 51 cents, or 4.1%, to $12.24.

Industrials were hit hard as well, with Air Canada grounded 66 cents, or 2.9%, to $21.91, while Telus International tumbling 33 cents, or 2.8%, to $11.56.

Real-estate tried to balance things out, with RioCan REIT gathering 26 cents, or 1.3%, to $19.61, while Canadian Apartment REIT picked up 70 cents, or 1.4%, to $49.89.

In energy, MEG Energy marched ahead 33 cents, or 1.3%, to $25.76, while Baytex Energy advanced five cents to $5.79.

In the economic docket, Statistics Canada reported that in July, Canada's merchandise imports decreased 5.4%, while exports were up 0.7%. As a result, Canada's merchandise trade deficit with the world narrowed from a revised $4.9 billion in June to $987 million in July.

The Bank of Canada today held its target for the overnight rate at 5%, with the Bank Rate at 5.25% and the deposit rate at 5%. The Bank is also continuing its policy of quantitative tightening.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange faded 9.7 points, or 1.6%, to 584.81.

All but two of the 12 TSX subgroups fell down the ladder, as health-care lost 2.3%, while utilities fell 1.9%, and industrials weakened 1.1%.

The two gainers proved to be real-estate, eking ahead 0.2%, while energy squeaked 0.01%.

ON WALLSTREET

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Stocks sold off Wednesday, continuing the sluggish start to September, as concerns mounted that the Federal Reserve may not be done hiking interest rates.

The Dow Jones Industrials dumped 197.59 points by the closing bell Wednesday at 34,444.38.

The S&P 500 index slid 31.23 points to 4,465.60.

The NASDAQ index reversed 148.48 points, or 1.1%, to 13,872.47.

Pressured by rates, technology stocks underperformed. The biggest laggards included Nvidia and Tesla, falling more than 3% each. Apple dropped roughly 3%, weighing on the Dow. Amgen and Boeing contributed to the losses, falling more than 1% each.

On the economic front, the prices component of the ISM services index rose 2.1 percentage points to 58.9% in August, representing the share of companies reporting increases as well a four-month high.

That follows the prices component of the ISM manufacturing index jumping 5.8 points to 48.4%. While readings below 50% represent contraction in the ISM survey, the big one-month jump is a reversal from the recent trend. The prices-paid component also rose slightly more than expected, further fueling rate hike fears.

Meanwhile, the latest Beige Book from the Federal Reserve indicated that the U.S. economy saw modest growth from in July and August,
and slowing price growth.

Prices for the 10-year Treasury were mildly lower, raising yields to 4.29% from Tuesday’s 4.27%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices took on 98 cents to $87.67 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices dropped 11 dollars to $1,941.60 U.S. an ounce.