The markets today
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.