* TSX ends 0.44% lower; down 2.5% in September
* Posts lowest closing level since July 20
* Consumer cyclical stocks fall to lowest since March (Updates to close)
Sept 30 (Reuters) – Canada’s main stock index edged lower on Thursday in its third consecutive day of declines, as inflation fears persisted and expectations grew that the U.S. Federal Reserve will tighten policy in the coming months.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index ended the day down 88 points, or 0.44%, at 20,070.25, its lowest close since July 20.
The benchmark ended September 2.5% lower and lost 0.5% over the third quarter of 2021, the worst three-month period since the first quarter of 2020 in the early days of the pandemic.
“Stocks and bond markets seem to be taking inflation more seriously lately … correctly in our view,” said Goodreid Investment Counsel Portfolio Manager Brian Madden.
“The supply chain/logistics/commodities-driven inflation is likely to abate in coming quarters, but the ‘demand pull’ inflation may be more lasting as household balance sheets are strong … and wage inflation and labor shortages are becoming more prevalent.”
Wall Street also ended the day lower, closing out its worst quarter since early 2020.
U.S. bond yields inched lower but held close to their highest levels in months.
The TSX’s consumer cyclicals sector was the biggest loser, falling 1.9% to its lowest close since March, followed by industrials, with a 1% decline.
Higher yields reduce the value of future cash flows, so they particularly hurt the shares of companies with high growth prospects.
* Bombardier Inc jumped 3.4%. The company said on Thursday it had received a firm order worth $534 million for 20 units of an upgraded variant of its Challenger 350 aircraft, marking its biggest business-jet deal this year.
* Rogers Communications Inc dropped 0.8%. The company said late on Wednesday that Chief Financial Officer Tony Staffieri had stepped down after more than a decade in the role. (Reporting by Nichola Saminather in Toronto; Editing by Peter Cooney)