Top News

Energy sector helps boost Toronto stock market, loonie steady


Strength in the energy sector, boosted by rising oil prices, helped lift Canada's main stock index Tuesday while the Canadian dollar was largely unchanged.

The S&P/TSX composite index closed up 26.97 points to 15,616.36 as the May crude contract rose 2.7 per cent.

The rise in oil prices came from expectations of a shrinking supply glut as well as from the potential shift in U.S. policies towards Iran, said Craig Jerusalim, portfolio manager at CIBC Global Asset Management.

"There were comments coming out of OPEC with rising demand and flat OPEC production that that supply glut was getting narrowed faster than expected. So as long as OPEC doesn't change their policy, that glut should continue to narrow and be supportive for energy prices."

The gains were, however, mixed for energy companies, with exploration and production companies generally climbing while Canada's biggest pipeline companies Enbridge Inc. and TransCanada Corp. continued to decline after a U.S. taxation ruling last week, said Jerusalim.

Declines on materials and base metals also weighed on the TSX as First Quantum Materials Ltd. dropped 12.37 per cent to $18 after being hit with $10 billion in duties, penalties and interest from the Zambian government.  

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 116.36 points to 24,727.27. The S&P 500 index was up 4.02 points to 2,716.94 and the Nasdaq composite index was up 20.06 points to 7,364.30.

Facebook continued to decline in the U.S. as it faces scrutiny over data privacy, a contrast to gains for Shopify in Canada that was up 5.21 per cent after announcing an expansion of its "shopping on Instagram" feature internationally, said Jerusalim.

"Really we're seeing two different stories on technology north and south of the border. South of the border, it's really all about watching privacy and personal data issues."

The Canadian dollar closed at 76.47, up 0.01 of a US cent, largely unchanged ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve rate guidance Wednesday.

The May crude contract was up US$1.41 to US$63.54 per barrel and the April natural gas contract was up three cents to US$2.68 per mmBTU.

The April gold contract was down US$5.90 to US$1,311.90 an ounce and the May copper contract was down four cents to US$3.04 a pound.

 

 

Ian Bickis, The Canadian Press

Recent Stories