TORONTO – The energy and industrial sectors helped Canada’s main stock index close higher Monday, while U.S. stocks were mixed.
The S&P/TSX composite index closed up 67.74 points at 15,552.06 to outperfrom U.S. markets as oil prices remained elevated, said Craig Fehr, a Canadian markets strategist at Edward Jones in St. Louis.
“Were seeing a bit of a continuation this week from last week’s gains in equities domestically, so we saw the Canadian market outperform US equities last week, really on the strength of oil prices.”
He said Canadian equities were also boosted by comments from Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz who suggested he was not overly concerned with inflation running above the two per cent target, said Fehr.
“I’d say today, it’s a little bit of a different message, which is that we’re seeing domestic equities get a bit of a lift based on some of the commentary from the Bank of Canada, which suggests they’re not going to be overly aggressive in tightening rates near-term, and so we’re seeing that boost sectors like financials today.”
Poloz’s comments had a negative effect on the Canadian dollar, however, which averaged 77.92 cents US, down 0.65 of a US cent, as a near-term rate hike looked less certain.
In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average closed down 14.25 points at 24,448.69 and the Nasdaq composite index was down 17.52 points at 7,128.60. The S&P 500 index ended up 0.15 of a point at 2,670.29.
The June crude contract ended up 24 cents at US$68.64 per barrel and the May natural gas contract was unchanged at US$2.74 per mmBTU.
The June gold contract closed down US$14.30 at US$1,324.00 an ounce and the May copper contract ended down three cents at US$3.11 a pound.