Toronto, Friday — TD Bank Group, Canada's second-largest bank, has announced its anticipation of facing fines and "non-monetary" penalties as part of ongoing investigations by US authorities into its anti-money laundering compliance program. This revelation has led to a decline in the bank's shares, with a drop of over 1%, continuing the losses from the previous trading session due to missing profit estimates.
Meanwhile, the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index saw a modest rise today, with energy stocks edging higher. This movement coincided with the statements made by Jerome Powell, Chair of the US Federal Reserve, during his keynote speech at the Jackson Hole symposium. Powell indicated that the central bank remains open to the possibility of further interest rate hikes in light of persistent inflation levels.
As of 9:50 a.m. ET (1350 GMT), the S&P/TSX composite index had climbed by 37.06 points, equivalent to a 0.19% increase, reaching 19,812.89.
Powell's speech shed light on the Federal Reserve's cautious approach to tightening policies. He mentioned, "We will proceed carefully as we decide whether to tighten further." Powell also highlighted that the Federal Reserve has yet to determine if the current benchmark interest rate range of 5.25%-5.50% is sufficiently high to steer US inflation back to the central bank's target of 2%.
The energy sector in Canada experienced a boost, with energy stocks recording a gain of 0.8%. This rally was supported by a more than 1% increase in crude oil prices. Mike Archibald, Vice President and Portfolio Manager at AGF Investments, shared his insights, stating, "My forecast is that the economy is going to remain quite resilient for the next at least six months. And if that’s the case, I think there’s a catch-up trade to be had in energy."
Archibald further explained, "Oil companies are making a lot of money and the stocks have underperformed rather significantly this year. There’s a good opportunity in the energy space."
While most sectors on the stock index demonstrated gains, financials were an exception, experiencing a 0.4% decline.
Market observers are turning their attention to the upcoming earnings reports from Canada's major banks scheduled for the following week. These reports will play a pivotal role in assessing the overall health of the financials sector, which holds a dominant position within the benchmark stock index.
The situation surrounding TD Bank Group's potential fines and penalties highlights the ongoing scrutiny financial institutions face in maintaining robust anti-money laundering compliance programs. The impact of these developments will be closely monitored by investors and analysts in the coming weeks.
By fLEXI tEAM