The markets today
TORONTO (CP) — Canada’s largest stock index marched further into record territory Monday, closing above the 16,000 mark for the first time, despite modest declines on Wall Street. The S&P/TSX composite index rose 49.27 points to 16,002.78, led primarily by strengthening oil and gas shares, with some additional lift coming from healthcare stocks. The energy sector was 1.76 per cent firmer as the December crude contract plumbed six month highs, advancing 25 cents to US$54.15 per barrel. “The broader take-away from today is that we’ve seen a bit of strength certainly coming from the energy sector, which is an area that has plagued the index for much of this year,” said Craig Fehr, a Canadian markets strategist at Edward Jones in St. Louis. “So in terms of the supply side we’ve seen a little bit of a bump to oil prices and that’s clearly helping the TSX today broadly.” Fehr pegged the rising price of crude on expectations that OPEC production cuts or freezes could be extended following news that Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil producer, supports extending an agreement by other major producers to limit output beyond next March. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries is expected to take up the agreement at its next meeting on Nov. 30. Energy gains also came on the back of better U.S. thirdquarter GDP data reported last Friday, which boosted demand prospects for oil.