Toronto Stock Exchange At Four Week Low As Canadians Head To The Polls

Canada's main stock index is at its lowest level in a month as Canadians head to the polls in a national election today (September 20).

The Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) closed Friday down 111.74 points to 20,490.36, its lowest level since August 23. In New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 166.44 points at 34,584.88 on Friday. The S&P 500 index finished last week down 40.76 points at 4,432.99, while the NASDAQ composite index ended down 137.95 points at 15,043.97.

Nine of the 11 major sectors on the TSX were down on Friday led by energy, consumer staples, financials and materials. Energy dropped nearly 2% as crude oil prices slipped. The November crude contract was down 55 cents at $71.82 U.S. per barrel and the October natural gas contract was down 23 cents at $5.11 U.S.

Several factors impacted markets on both sides of the border, including weak economic news out of China, rising COVID-19 cases, and U.S. infrastructure plan uncertainty. With another minority government expected in Ottawa following today’s vote, there is uncertainty over Liberal and Conservative tax plans.

One commonality between movements in U.S. and Canadian markets is the calendar, with September typically being the worst month of the year for stocks.

Investors in the U.S. and Canada are eagerly awaiting the U.S. Federal Reserve’s next interest rate decision and guidance on its upcoming moves this coming Wednesday (September 22).

The Canadian dollar traded on Friday for 78.61 cents U.S. compared with 78.90 cents U.S. on Thursday. The December gold contract was down $5.30 U.S. at $1,751.40 U.S. an ounce and the December copper contract was down 3.6 cents U.S. at nearly $4.25 U.S. a pound.