Com­modi­ties, mar­kets up following blast

Times Colonist - - Business -

TORONTO — The main stock in­dex in Toronto closed higher on Tues­day as com­modi­ties rose on fears of po­ten­tial con­flict in the Mid­dle East and Cana­dian mar­kets caught up with their Amer­i­can peers after Mon­day’s Civic Hol­i­day break.

A mas­sive ex­plo­sion rocked Beirut on Tues­day, flat­ten­ing much of the port and dam­ag­ing build­ings across the cap­i­tal.

Le­banon’s health min­is­ter said more than 60 peo­ple were killed and more than 3,000 in­jured in the huge ex­plo­sion for which no immediate cause was known.

In Toronto, the S&P/TSX com­pos­ite in­dex closed on Tues­day up 198.83 points at 16,368.03.

“It’s still un­clear as to the cause of that ex­plo­sion but it has re­ally turned around a num­ber of the com­modi­ties,” said Mike Archibald, vice-pres­i­dent and port­fo­lio man­ager with AGF In­vest­ments Inc.

He pointed out gold had been trading lower but re­cov­ered, with the De­cem­ber gold con­tract clos­ing ahead by $34.70 US at a record $2,021.00 US an ounce.

Sim­i­larly, oil prices were down early on but the September West Texas In­ter­me­di­ate crude con­tract closed at $41.70 US per bar­rel, up 69 cents US.

In re­sponse to the higher gold price, B2Gold Corp. rose 3.12 per cent to $9.57, Kin­ross Gold Corp. was up 3.04 per cent to $12.88 and Bar­rick Gold Corp. jumped 2.58 per cent to $39.71.

Mean­while, oil­sands pro­ducer Sun­cor Energy Inc. rose 1.8 per cent to $21.45 and pipeline com­pany En­bridge Inc. strength­ened by 2.52 per cent to $43.95.

“The mar­ket is re­act­ing as though it was a planned ex­plo­sion of some sort and that’s re­ally driv­ing the ac­tion in some of the sec­tors that are win­ning to­day,” said Archibald.

“The energy names are hav­ing a re­ally strong day here and then the gold names are also con­tin­u­ing to power higher on the back of a ris­ing com­mod­ity.”

Six of the Toronto mar­ket’s 11 sec­tors were pos­i­tive on the day, led by energy, health care and telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions.

The biggest losers were in­dus­tri­als and util­i­ties.

Health care bobbed higher after a big sell­off in mar­i­juana stocks last Fri­day, Archibald said, while in­vestors also demon­strated in­ter­est in de­fen­sive in­vest­ments in telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions and se­lect util­i­ties.

In­dus­tri­als were driven lower by weak­ness in Cana­dian Na­tional Rail­way Co., off $1.02 at $129.82, and Cana­dian Pa­cific Rail­way Ltd., down $6.76 at $361.61.

The two ral­lied on Fri­day on un­con­firmed re­ports that a pair of pri­vate eq­uity firms were con­sid­er­ing buying the Kansas City Southern rail­road in the U.S. but drifted lower Tues­day on a lack of news, Archibald said.

Mean­while, a slump in Ali­men­ta­tion Couche-Tard Inc. shares helped bring down the sta­ples sec­tor when it emerged that its bid for Marathon Pe­tro­leum Corp.’s gas-sta­tion business had lost out to the pri­vate eq­uity owner of 7-Eleven.

Couche-Tard’s shares fell 32 cents or 0.69 per cent to $46.23.

The Cana­dian dol­lar traded for 74.78 US com­pared with 74.60 on Fri­day.

The September cop­per con­tract was down 1.75 cents at just over $2.89 US a pound.

Mar­kets were list­less south of bor­der as ne­go­ti­a­tions con­tin­ued on a new stim­u­lus pack­age to help the econ­omy re­cover from the COVID-19 pan­demic lock­downs.

“We haven’t seen any real progress on the file as of yet so I think that’s part of the rea­son why the U.S. mar­kets are paus­ing here un­til we get a lit­tle more clar­ity,” said Archibald.

In New York, the Dow Jones in­dus­trial av­er­age was up 164.07 points at 26,828.47.

The S&P 500 in­dex was up 11.90 points at 3,306.51, and the Nas­daq com­pos­ite was up 38.37 points at a record 10,941.17.

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