Canada's main stock market, the Toronto Stock Exchange, on Wednesday closed up a mere single digit points at just under the 20,600 level, and that was almost 300 points below levels seen at around 2pm ET, before US Fed Chair Powell followed the example set earlier today by Bank of Canada Governor Macklem in citing Omicron as a threat to economic growth paths, even if a temporary one.
Also, both Powell and Macklem did indicate that interest rate hikes are imminent on both sides of the border, and maybe investors are concerned or uncertain about the pace and size of these increases when they do start to flow.
On the Canada front, the resources heavy index was also probably flat on mixed commodity prices.
Among sectors here, Energy closed up 0.55%, but was up more than 1% with an hour left of trading. And Financials closed up near 0.4%, having been up near 1%. Info Tech was flat, but ended the session down near 0.8%
Of commodities, West Texas Intermediate crude oil rose to a fresh seven-year high on Wednesday as the market weighs the potential impact on supply should Russia, the world's No.2 oil producer, move ahead with an invasion of Ukraine, while a report showed a higher than expected in US oil inventories. WTI crude for March delivery closed up $1.75 to US$87.35 per barrel, Marketwatch reported, the highest since 2014. March Brent crude, the global benchmark, was last seen up $1.75 to US$89.95, while Western Canada Select was up $2.14 to US$74.33 per barrel.
Gold weakened as the dollar and bond yields both rose ahead of the end of the two-day meeting of the Federal Reserve's policy committee. Gold for April delivery closed down US$23.00 to US$1,831.00 per ounce.