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On the last trading day of February, Canada’s benchmark stock index fell, led by energy and industrials losses, followed by the utilities and financial sectors. Top lenders Bank of Montreal and Bank of Nova Scotia pointed to economic pain ahead with higher loan loss provisions and a fall in quarterly profits. The financial sector was set for a 1 per cent monthly decline. New Statistics Canada data showed that the economy contracted 0.1 per cent in December from the previous month, below analyst expectations.

Hopes of a market recovery were sparked by a recent a rebound in risk-sentiment, but the TSX is set for its first February losses in two years, down 2.8 per cent.

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The story was similar on Wall Street where the major indexes are on pace for their second negative month in three, despite a solid start to the year. The Dow is down 4 per cent for the month and is down year to date. The S&P 500 has lost 2.5 per cent, and NASDAQ gave up 1 per cent in February. Investors on both sides of the border fear that the US Federal Reserve will stick to its hawkish stance on monetary tightening.

Today in the Markets

TSX 20,221.19 -38.94 TSX
TSXV 630.46 +5.63 TSXV
CSE 191.60 +1.21 TSXV
DJIA 32,656.70 -232.39 DJIA
NASDAQ 11,455.54 -11.44 NASDAQ
S&P 500 3,970.15 -12.09 S&P 500

The Canadian dollar traded for 73.28 cents US, compared to 73.67 cents US on Monday.

US crude futures traded $1.15 higher at $76.83 a barrel, and the Brent contract gained $1.44 to $83.89 a barrel.

The price of gold was up 9.23 to US$1,826.49.

In world markets, the Nikkei was up 21.60 points to 27,445.56, the Hang Seng was down 157.57 points to 19,785.94, the FTSE was down 58.83 points to 7,876.28, and the DAX was down 16.29 points to 15,365.14.

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