Toronto index reverses losses to close higher, led by tech and cannabis

·2 min read
FILE PHOTO: A sign board displaying Toronto Stock Exchange stock information is seen in Toronto

By Nichola Saminather

(Reuters) -Canada's main stock index reversed early losses to close higher on Wednesday following choppy trading, as growth sectors including technology and cannabis rose, offsetting declines in utilities and materials.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index closed up 94.66 points, or 0.4%, at 21,548.43, led by technology and healthcare, which rose 1.8% and 1.7%, respectively.

Cloud-based learning management provider Docebo Inc was the biggest gainer, rising 6%, with Lightspeed Commerce and Shopify Inc also among the top 10 stocks on the index.

"How Shopify goes, so goes the TSX," said Barry Schwartz, chief investment officer at Baskin Wealth Management.

Shopify, Canada's most valuable company, recovered after two days of losses when it got caught up in a sell-off of high-growth stocks after Jerome Powell's nomination for a second term as Federal Reserve chair boosted expectations of early U.S. monetary policy tightening.

"It’s clear the growth names have been beaten up and sold off indiscriminately all because of a few basis points' increase in the 10-year" bond yield, Schwartz said.

Cannabis producer Organigram Holdings was the second-best performer, rising 5.4% and adding to Tuesday's 8.9% gains on better-than-expected quarterly revenues.

Energy stocks bucked a 0.3% decline in energy prices to rise 1.8% to the highest close since April 2019.

That helped offset declines in consumer stocks, utilities and materials.

Alimentation Couche-Tard was the biggest loser on the index after the convenience store chain operator reported a decline in quarterly profits from a year ago.

Miners including New Gold, Osisko Mining and Kinross Gold were among the 10 worst performers, with spot gold marginally lower.

(Reporting by Nichola Saminather in Toronto; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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