The markets to­day

The Prince George Citizen - - Money -

TORONTO (CP) — North Amer­i­can stock markets rose, with U.S. markets hit­ting all­time highs, after the chair­man of the U.S. Fed­eral Re­serve con­firmed the cen­tral bank will cut in­ter­est rates be­cause of a weak­ened econ­omy and ris­ing trade ten­sions.

In New York, the Dow Jones in­dus­trial av­er­age closed up 76.71 points at 26,860.20 after peak­ing at 26,983.45. The S&P 500 in­dex sur­passed 3,000 points for the first time and closed up 13.44 points at 2,993.07, while the Nas­daq com­pos­ite was up 60.80 points at 8,202.53 after reach­ing 8,228.60.

The S&P/TSX com­pos­ite in­dex closed up 18.08 points at 16,563.29. It hit an in­tra­day peak of 16,545.21, less than 31 points be­low April’s record high.

Canada’s main stock in­dex was helped by the en­ergy and ma­te­ri­als sec­tors as the price of crude hit a seven-week high and gold gained ground. The Au­gust crude con­tract was up US$2.60 at US$60.43 per bar­rel and the Au­gust nat­u­ral gas con­tract was up 1.9 cents at US$2.44 per mmBTU.

The Au­gust gold con­tract was up US$12 at US$1,412.50 an ounce and the Septem­ber cop­per con­tract was up 6.9 cents at US$2.69 a pound.

The com­modi­ties were helped by a weaker U.S. dol­lar with the Cana­dian dol­lar trad­ing for an av­er­age of 76.38 cents US com­pared with an av­er­age of 76.18 cents US on Tues­day. The loonie was also helped by com­ments from the Bank of Canada that the Cana­dian econ­omy would ac­cel­er­ate next year in con­trast with the United States.

Crude prices were sup­ported by a sig­nif­i­cant re­duc­tion in over­all U.S. stock­piles and ma­jor oil pro­duc­ers evac­u­at­ing rigs in the Gulf of Mex­ico be­fore an ex­pected storm.

The en­ergy sec­tor was led higher by a broad-based in­crease with Cres­cent Point En­ergy Corp. shares ris­ing 9.3 per cent, fol­lowed by En­cana Corp. at 3.1 per cent.

Kin­ross Gold Corp. and Bar­rick Gold Corp. were among the big gain­ers among min­ers. Health care lost the most ground with Can­nTrust Hold­ings Inc. drop­ping another 12.9 per cent after the On­tario Cannabis Store said it has re­moved cer­tain Can­nTrust prod­ucts from its on­line store and from dis­tri­bu­tion to phys­i­cal out­lets un­til Health Canada com­pletes its in­ves­ti­ga­tion in­volv­ing pot cul­ti­va­tion in un­li­censed rooms.

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