TSX closes se­cond strong week in a row

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - BUSINESS - THE CANA­DIAN PRESS

North Amer­i­can stock mar­kets con­tin­ued their late-month rally Fri­day, with Canada's main in­dex now hav­ing clawed back most of the big losses it suf­fered at the start of the year.

“The early part of this year got off to a very neg­a­tively tilted sen­ti­ment,” said Colum McKin­ley, vice-pres­i­dent and port­fo­lio man­ager of Cana­dian Eq­ui­ties at CIBC As­set Man­age­ment.

“And, I think, we're see­ing some re­lief over the last - not just to­day - but over the last week or so from that neg­a­tive slant.”

The S&P/TSX com­pos­ite in­dex closed 230.20 points higher at 12,822.13 on Fri­day, leav­ing it down 1.4 per cent or 187.82 points since the start of the year, as oil prices con­tinue to im­prove.

The March con­tract for North Amer­i­can bench­mark crude oil closed up 40 cents at US$33.62 a bar­rel.

It has now risen 18.5 per cent since fin­ish­ing as low at US$28.36 last week. McKin­ley said there will be con­tin­ued volatil­ity in oil prices, but they will im­prove in the long-run as pro­duc­tion growth slows.

The com­mod­ity-sen­si­tive Cana­dian dol­lar also con­tin­ued to trend higher on the strength in oil, up 0.22 of a U.S. cent at 71.40 cents US af­ter hav­ing re­bounded from below 69 cents US early last week.

In New York, mar­kets were sharply higher. Good earn­ings re­ports from Amer­i­can com­pa­nies like Mi­crosoft, af­ter oth­ers dis­ap­pointed, helped pro­pel the mar­kets, said McKin­ley, as did ris­ing oil prices. The Dow Jones in­dus­trial av­er­age soared 396.66 points to 16,466.30. The S&P 500 rose 46.88 points to 1,940.24 and the Nas­daq added 107.27 points to 4,613.95.

But Jan­uary was a tough month for U.S. mar­kets, as well, de­spite re­cent gains.

The be­gin­ning of the year was the worst in the his­tory of the Dow and the S&P 500 as both in­dexes fell into a cor­rec­tion or a drop of at least 10 per cent from a re­cent peak. Both are down around six per cent this month, while the Nas­daq is off about eight per cent.

AP PHOTO

A man walks past an elec­tronic stock board show­ing Ja­pan's Nikkei 225 that gained 476.85 points or 2.8 per­cent and closed at 17,518.30 at a se­cu­ri­ties firm in Tokyo, Fri­day.

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