Canada's main stock market, the Toronto Stock Exchange, has closed lower for only the second time (after Monday) in 2021 -- on Wednesday losing around 51 points as concerns rise about what impact rising COVID-19 cases and increased restrictions and lockdowns will have on economic recoveries nearly everywhere. This has quickly quashed the optimism around the start of the new year, and with that the gallop to new intra day and closing record highs hit last week.
Today, the TSX actually finished the session almost half way between session lows near 17,900 hit late morning and session highs near 17,970 hit mid-afternoon, which might well reflect the sentiment among investors, in terms of not knowing whether to continue buying or continue selling.
Among sectors, Materials lost near 1.6%, Energy lost 1.3% and Financials lost near 0.15%.
Of commodities, West Texas Intermediate crude oil pries fell for the first time in seven sessions on Wednesday after the Energy Information Administration reported U.S. oil inventories fell more than expected last week but was accompanied by a big rise in stocks of refined products. WTI crude for February delivery closed down $0.30 to settle at US$52.91 per barrel, Reuters reported. March Brent crude, the global benchmark, was last seen down $0.50 to US$56.08, while Western Canada Select was up $0.85 to US$41.50 per barrel. The drop came as the EIA reported U.S. oil inventories fell by 3.2 million barrels last week, topping the the 2.3 million drop expected, on average, by analysts polled by Reuters. However stocks of gasoline and distillates were both higher, rising above the five-year average.
Meanwhile, gold ended higher despite a rising dollar and rising equities. Gold for February delivery closed up $10.70 to US$1,854.90 per ounce in Comex trade.