By Fergal Smith
TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index edged higher on Monday, extending its recent streak of gains, as technology shares rose and investors awaited Canadian consumer price data that could offer additional evidence of slowing inflation.
The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index ended up 30.23 points, or 0.15%, at 20,390.33, its highest closing level since Dec. 2.
It was the TSX's seventh straight day of gains and marked the longest winning streak since last May. The 50-day moving average crossed above its 200-day moving average, sending a bullish technical signal known as a Golden Cross.
Across the border, U.S markets were closed for the Martin Luther King Day holiday, contributing to low trade volumes.
"We're going to have the CPI report, so that'll be crucial, giving us an indication how the fight against inflation is going," said Allan Small, senior investment adviser at Allan Small Financial Group.
Canada's consumer price index report for December, due on Tuesday, is expected to show inflation slowing to an annual rate of 6.4%, which would be the lowest level since last February, from 6.8% in November.
Markets globally were buoyed last week by U.S. data showing that price pressures have eased. A downward trend for inflation could support a more dovish stance from central banks, including the Bank of Canada.
The central bank on Monday said that most Canadian businesses expect a mild recession over the next year because higher interest rates are curbing investment plans and consumer spending.
The Toronto market's technology sector rose 0.7% and consumer staples ended nearly 1% higher.
The materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, gave back some recent gains, ending 0.9 lower.
Shares of Mullen Group were also a drag, falling 8.7% after the logistics provider provided an outline of its expectations for 2023.
(Reporting by Fergal Smith; Additional reporting by Shristi Achar A and Johann M Cherian in Bengaluru; Editing by Leslie Adler)