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Losses in utilities drag Toronto stocks lower


By Shubham Batra

(Reuters) – Toronto stocks extended their sell-off from last week, led by losses in utilities, while investors awaited Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s comments on interest rate path later in the week.

At 10:20 a.m. ET (14:20 GMT) on Monday, the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was down 22.77 points, or 0.11%, at 19,795.62.

The index reversed course after opening higher as utilities stocks fell 1.4%.

Earlier in the day, an industry official said Alberta’s seven-month pause on approving new renewable power projects in the Canadian province has caused four major international companies at various development stages to stop work on their plans.

The energy sector slid 0.1% as Brent oil futures turned negative after rising $1 a barrel earlier in the session. [O/R]

Rate-sensitive technology stocks were up 0.5%.

Materials stocks, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, also rose 0.5%.

Gold held around five-month lows on Monday, pressured by higher bond yields as markets geared up for Powell’s speech at Jackson Hole symposium, which begins on Aug. 24. [GOL/]

“Despite the importance of the current moment for Fed policy, we do not expect Chair Powell to send strong signals about the near-term policy path,” said Deutsche Bank analysts in a note.

“The data dependence message from the July FOMC meeting was clear, and it is too early for the Chair to abandon that approach.”

Company-wise, Restaurant Brands International gained 0.8% after J.P.Morgan initiated coverage on the stock with an “overweight” rating.

(Reporting by Shubham Batra and Shashwat Chauhan in Bengaluru; Editing by Shilpi Majumdar)

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