Toronto market scales record high, with Shopify 'on fire'

·2 min read
FILE PHOTO: A sign board displaying Toronto Stock Exchange stock information is seen in Toronto

By Fergal Smith

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index climbed to a record high on Friday, bolstered by a jump in the shares of e-commerce giant Shopify Inc and gains for the heavily weighted financial services group.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index ended up 186.55 points, or 0.9%, at 21,768.53.

"Shopify is on fire today," said Lorne Steinberg, president of Lorne Steinberg Wealth Management Inc. "That is a major reason for the market move."

Shares of Shopify, the most valuable company on the TSX by far, rose 11.6%, adding to gains since the company announced earnings last month.

The technology sector advanced 4%, while financials, which account for 30% of the Toronto market's value, ended 0.4% higher. The sector could benefit from a decision last week by Canada's financial regulator to allow banks and insurers to resume dividend increases and share buybacks.

"We still see a lot of value in Canadian financials," Steinberg said.

Healthcare jumped 4.8%, led by gains for cannabis shares.

"There's some optimism that the U.S. is going to pass the marijuana legalization bill and that will open up to more investment opportunities," said Gregory Taylor, portfolio manager at Purpose Investments.

For the week, the Toronto market was up 1.5%. It has advanced 24.9% since the beginning of the year, slightly eclipsing the S&P 500.

Energy has been a major driver of the TSX in recent months. But the sector fell 0.6% on Friday, weighed by a drop in oil prices.

U.S. crude oil futures settled nearly 1% lower at $80.79 a barrel on worries that the U.S. Federal Reserve will accelerate plans to boost interest rates to tame inflation.

(Reporting by Fergal Smith; Additional reporting by Amal S in Bengaluru; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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