S&P/TSX breaks 16,000 mark for first time

Coun­try’s largest stock in­dex hits record level on Mon­day, ris­ing by al­most 50 points

Toronto Star - - BUSINESS - DAVID HODGES THE CANA­DIAN PRESS

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 health-care stocks.

The en­ergy sec­tor was 1.76 per cent firmer as the De­cem­ber crude con- tract plumbed six-month highs, ad­vanc­ing 25 cents to $54.15 (U.S.) per bar­rel.

“The broader takeaway 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. third-quar­ter GDP data re­ported last Fri­day, which boosted de­mand prospects for oil.

On the health-care front, an an­nounce­ment by al­co­holic bev­er­age com­pany Con­stel­la­tion Brands that it’s buy­ing a 9.9-per-cent stake in mar­i­juana pro­ducer Canopy Growth Corp. helped boost that sec­tor by 3.66 per cent, with shares of the com­pany surg­ing 19 per cent to $15.22.

Mean­while, U.S. stocks pulled back from their record-set­ting run on Mon­day, and in­dexes else­where around the world took a pause ahead of a fre­netic week for mar­kets.

In­vestors are wait­ing to see who will be U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s pick to head the Fed­eral Re­serve, what sev­eral of the world’s big­gest cen­tral banks will de­cide on in­ter­est rates and whether Ap­ple and other big U.S. com­pa­nies can keep pil­ing their prof­its higher.

In New York, the Dow Jones in­dus­trial av­er­age fell 85.45 points to 23,348.74. The S&P 500 in­dex was down 8.24 points to 2,572.83 and the Nas­daq com­pos­ite in­dex edged back 2.30 points to 6,698.96.

In cur­rency mar­kets, the Cana­dian dol­lar was trad­ing at an av­er­age price of 77.90 cents (U.S.), up 0.22 of a U.S. cent. Else­where in com­modi­ties, the De­cem­ber gold con­tract was up $5.90 to $1,277.70 an ounce. The De­cem­ber nat­u­ral gas con­tract was un­changed at $2.97 per mmBTU and the De­cem­ber cop­per con­tract added a penny at $3.11 a pound.

Mon­day’s gain was led pri­mar­ily by strength­en­ing oil and gas shares, with some lift com­ing from health-care stocks

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