Toronto market falls on Fed rate hike worries, tech stocks hit

June 15 (Reuters) – Canada’s main stock index fell on Thursday, with technology stocks leading the declines after the U.S. Federal Reserve signaled that more interest rate hikes are likely.

At 9:45 a.m. ET (13:45 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index (.GSPTSE) was down 53.12 points, or 0.27%, at 19,961.97, set to snap a three-day winning streak if losses hold.

Technology stocks (.SPTTTK) fell 1.1%, while energy (.SPTTEN) edged up 0.2%, tracking higher crude oil prices after data showed a rise in refinery runs in top crude importer China.

The U.S. central bank left interest rates unchanged on Wednesday but hinted at more interest rate hikes this year that could go up to a half-a-percentage-point raise.

“The Fed was a little bit more hawkish than perhaps some people were thinking and we’ve seen markets coming down a little bit on that,” SIA Wealth Management Chief Market Strategist Colin Cieszynski said.

Traders now see a 65% chance of a 25-basis-point hike in July, according to the CME Group’s FedWatch tool.

However, a slew of data showed U.S. retail sales unexpectedly rose in May, while the jobs market remained resilient with initial claims for state unemployment benefits unchanged.

Meanwhile, Canada’s data showed housing starts fell 23% in May as groundbreaking decreased on multiple unit and single-family detached urban homes, while another set showed home sales rose 5.1% in May from April and were up 1.4% on an annual basis.

The Bank of Canada is expected to raise interest rate again in July to 5.00% after a surprise 25-bps increase last week.

Gibson Energy (GEI.TO) lost 1.6%, hitting an over two-year low intraday, as the energy infrastructure company plans to buy South Texas Gateway oil terminal from Buckeye Partners and its partners for $1.1 billion to expand into U.S. crude oil export markets.

Guru Organic Energy (GURU.TO) gained 5% after Stifel upgraded its rating on the beverage stock to “buy” from “hold”.

Reporting by Ankika Biswas in Bengaluru; Editing by Shweta Agarwal

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.