Toronto stock market caps seven session losing streak on higher oil price
Higher oil prices propelled the Toronto Stock Exchange to a stronger finish on Tuesday as most sectors gained some traction, ending seven consecutive sessions of declines.
The S&P/TSX composite index rose 75.99 points to 14,077.36, while the Canadian dollar gained 0.7 of a cent at 77.36 cents US.
Driving the market higher was the TSX energy sector, which rose two per cent as the September contract for crude oil gained 59 cents to US$47.98 on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
It was the first time in five days that oil futures moved up, driven by the anticipation that weekly crude inventories could show a decline when the figures are released on Wednesday.
The September natural gas contract gained 2.8 cents to US$2.816
Gains on the TSX marked a slight reprieve for Canada’s main index, which has taken a drubbing in recent months amid a drop in oil prices and a questionable economy.
“The TSX is very lopsided right now,” said Craig Jerusalim, portfolio manager at CIBC Asset Management Inc.
Energy and materials stocks have been squeezed while health care, technology and consumeroriented companies have fared better, he added.
“When I parse through the quarterly earnings I’ve noticed that companies focused on the consumer are actually surprising to the upside,” Jerusalim said, pointing to earnings from Tim Hortons owner Restaurant Brands (TSX:QSR) and U.S. video streaming service Netflix as two recent examples of companies that surpassed analyst expectations.
On Tuesday, WestJet (TSX:WJA) met analyst expectations with its second-quarter financial results, which were helped by lower fuel prices and more travellers. The company posted a profit of C$61.6 million versus C$51.8 million in the same period last year.
Shares of WestJet fell nearly four per cent to C$21.83 after the results were released.
Gold prices slipped 20 cents to US$1,096.20 an ounce as traders awaited any signs from the U.S. Federal Reserve’s two-day monetary policy meeting on the timing of an expected interest rate hike.
Meanwhile on Wall Street, investors found reason to celebrate from a slate of positive results from U.S. companies.
The Dow Jones industrial average gained 189.68 points at 17,630.27, while the Nasdaq added 49.43 points at 5,089.21 and the S&P 500 climbed 25.61 points to 2,093.25.