S&P/TSX composite sets new highs in catch-up trading after Victoria Day holiday

·3 min read

TORONTO — Canada's main stock index set new highs Tuesday as it played catch-up after U.S. markets had a positive move during the Victoria Day holiday.

The S&P/TSX composite index climbed 36.82 points to a record close of 19,564.12 after setting an intraday record of 19,679.86.

"Yesterday, sentiment was boosted by ongoing pledges from several Federal Reserve officials who continued to emphasize that policy will remain highly accommodative even despite a near-term spike in inflation," said Candice Bangsund, portfolio manager for Fiera Capital.

"So this helped to soothe the markets and underpin risk appetite, so today TSX largely playing catch-up, edging higher."

Health care and technology were the leaders among the eight of 11 major sectors on the TSX that gained on the day.

Aurora Cannabis Inc. and Canopy Growth Corp. gained six and 5.2 per cent, respectively, to push health care higher.

Technology rose by less than one percentage point with Lightspeed POS Inc. up 3.3 per cent.

Industrials moved up with Canadian National Railway Co. increasing 1.4 per cent and Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. and Air Canada each up 1.1 per cent.

Materials was slightly positive as gold prices consolidated their recent gains as a hedge against inflation.

The June gold contract was up US$13.50 at US$1,898.00 an ounce and the July copper contract was down 1.9 cents at US$4.51 a pound.

Energy was the biggest laggard, losing 0.8 per cent despite a slight increase in crude oil prices after recovering Monday above US$66 a barrel.

Prices fell last week as investors worried that the prospect of a new Iranian nuclear deal would add crude supplies to the global market. That view has been offset by signs of a strong and durable economic recovery that's boosting the outlook for global crude demand."

"Prices have been trading in a fairly tight range here in the last week," Bangsund said in an interview.

The July crude contract was up two cents at US$66.07 per barrel and the July natural gas contract was up 1.4 cents at US$2.97 per mmBTU.

Shares of Vemilion Energy Inc lost 3.3 per cent while Crescent Point Energy Corp. was off 3.1 per cent.

The Canadian dollar traded for 82.94 cents US compared with 82.91 cents US on Friday.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 81.52 points at 34,312.46 after gaining 186 points to start the trading week. The S&P 500 index was down 8.92 points at 4,188.13, while the Nasdaq composite was down 4.00 points at 13,657.17.

U.S. stock markets were softer after new home sales missed expectations and consumer confidence dropped for the first time this year.

"Weaker-than-expected economic data has depressed sentiment but again that's been largely offset by those Fed officials who have alleviated concerns about runway inflation," Bangsund said.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 25, 2021.


Ross Marowits, The Canadian Press

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