TSX closes at record high as bull market continues

TSX closes at record high as bull market continues

The Toronto stock index closed at a record high Thursday, amid gains in health care, consumer and industrial stocks.

The TSX closed at 16,612, up 68 points, continuing the bull run that has seen it rise 15.8 per cent since the beginning of the year. The last high point in July 2018 was 16,567.

There was strong trading in cannabis stocks, including Canopy Growth, which rose eight per cent after making a deal to buy U.S.-based Acreage Holdings.

The market was also buoyed by strong retail sales figures, with Statistics Canada reporting sales rose 0.8 per cent in February, the first increase since October. E-commerce and new car sales were particularly strong.

Strength in oil prices contributed to the market ebullience, with the benchmark North American contract trading at $64.03 US a barrel after a decline in U.S. inventories and continued supply restraint from OPEC producers. 

Oil companies were gainers on the Toronto market. But Rogers Communications was down after disappointing earnings, and fears of a global slowdown kept a lid on the overall market..

Next week, the Bank of Canada will give its latest interest rate decision and revise its economic estimates. Many observers expect Gov. Stephen Poloz could remove all reference to future rate hikes, given signs that the economy will cool later in the year.

U.S. stocks also remained strong, after a jump in retail sales for February pointed to healthy consumer spending. Earnings have also been strong. The broad-based S&P index closed at 2,905, near its high of 2,903.

The Dow index was up 110 points to 26,570, up 14 per cent on the year.

Two newly-listed stocks, Pinterest and Zoom Media, contributed to momentum in the U.S. market.