Welcome back to the Canadian Monthly Market Wrap from YCharts! Here, we break down the most important market trends for Canada-based advisors and their clients every month. As always, feel free to download and share any visuals with clients and colleagues, or on social media.
Equities gave up last month’s rebound, as the S&P/TSX 60 index fell 4.9% in April. US markets were worse off—the S&P 500 declined 8.7%, and the NASDAQ tumbled 13.2%. Both Canadian Small Caps and Large Caps posted larger losses than the TSX overall, though large caps declined 44 fewer basis points than small caps did.
Energy was the only sector to finish April in the black, up 8.2%. Defensive sectors such as Consumer Staples and Utilities posted relatively smaller losses in April, but the biggest decliner was the rate-sensitive Info Tech sector, plunging 15.5%.
Key economic data includes the Canadian unemployment rate tying its record low of 5.3%, previously reached in October 2007. Canadian inflation climbed for the ninth consecutive month to 6.66%, and Canada’s Consumer Price Index rose by a relatively significant 0.89% in April. Manufacturing logged another strong month—the Canada Ivey PMI stood at 74.2 as of April’s end, just two months after the index was on the border of contraction territory.
The Canada Ivey PMI reading for March vaulted by 22% to 74.2, setting a record in the index’s four-and-a-half year existence. This succeeds a February in which the index went from 50.7 to 60.6, a jump of 20%.
Canada’s Consumer Price Index rose 0.89% in February, its largest monthly increase since September 2005. The Canada Inflation Rate increased by almost a full percentage point to 6.66%, which is the highest level since January 1991 and its ninth consecutive upward month.
April marked the second month in a row in which the price of gold in CAD went practically unchanged, ending the month at $2,442.70 CAD per ounce. Even so, the iShares S&P/TSX Global Gold ETF (XGD.TO) tumbled 5.5% in March.
As with equities, the prices of major cryptocurrencies fell sharply in April. One Bitcoin cost $38,651 USD on April 30th, representing a monthly decline of 17.9%. Ethereum ended April 16.7% lower, at $2,817 USD. Cardano fared the worst in April, tumbling 32.3% in April to 80 cents USD per coin. It has been six months since Ethereum and Bitcoin logged a new high—they have drawn down 39.1% and 41.2% respectively, while Cardano is 71.6% off of its all-time high.