The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX Composite Index edged up 4.91 points, or 0.02%, to 20,595.89, but that closing level was 1.6% below its intraday high.

“The story of the day was the huge intraday swings around the Bank of Canada and, more importantly for US markets, around the Fed,” said Colin Cieszynski, chief market strategist at SIA Wealth Management.

The Bank of Canada said it would soon start raising interest rates from record lows to fight inflation, while the Federal Reserve signaled it would likely hike in March.

“Anyone who claimed he might be delaying, it’s pretty clear he won’t be delaying,” Cieszynski said.

Tighter monetary policy generally hurts riskier assets, such as stocks.

The major U.S. benchmark, the S&P 500, ended lower, taking a sharp plunge that reversed earlier strong gains.

In the Toronto market, heavily weighted financials rose 0.4%, while the energy sector finished up 0.3% on higher oil prices.

U.S. crude oil futures settled up 2% at $87.35 a barrel, as rising political tensions between Russia and Ukraine added to concerns about further disruption in an already strained oil market .

The materials group weighed on the TSX, which includes precious and base metal mining companies and fertilizer companies. It lost 1.2% as the Fed’s hawkish stance pressured gold.

(Reporting by Fergal Smith; Additional reporting by Ambar Warrick; Editing by Sandra Maler)

By Fergal Smith