S & P / TSX Composite Index Hits Record High Following Economic News; energy share slide

TORONTO – Good economic news south of the border and optimism about the end of the pandemic led the major Canadian stock index to a record close on Monday after Easter, despite falling oil prices.

The S & P / TSX Composite Index closed 36.47 points higher at 19,026.79 after setting a new intraday high of 19,064.88.

The US government said on Friday that employers launched a hiring wave in March, creating 916,000 jobs, the highest number since August.

Traders’ reaction was delayed until Monday as markets were closed for Good Friday. Investors were then further encouraged by a report released on Monday showing the US service sector saw record growth in March as orders, hires and prices rose.

In New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 373.98 points to 33,527.19. The S&P 500 Index rose 58.04 points to 4,077.91 and the Nasdaq Composite by 225.49 points to 13,705.59.

“All of this is positive, the market likes it, we are witnessing a recovery. The reopening train is still going on and that’s why the markets are higher today, ”said Allan Small, senior investment advisor at IA Private Wealth, in an interview.

“Overall, the data looks really promising. They have to hire a lot of people a lot sooner than I think these companies expected and I think we’ll see it in our country as well. “

He pointed out that Delta Air Lines canceled around 100 flights on Sunday due to a staff shortage amid higher than expected bookings and predicted that Canadian airlines will also end up experiencing a faster-than-expected recovery in reason for pent-up demand.

In Toronto, seven of 11 sectors closed higher, led by members of the materials sector who mine copper or produce forest products.

The May copper contract rose 15 cents to nearly US $ 4.14 a pound, fueling a 5.96% increase in Era Copper Corp. shares. and a 5.89% increase for First Quantum Minerals Ltd.

Meanwhile, forest products companies Canfor Corp. and Interfor Corp. increased on recent record high lumber and panel prices, posting increases of 3.65 percent and 3.33 percent, respectively.

On the other end of the spectrum was the energy sector, where companies tracked May’s crude oil contract down US $ 2.80 to US $ 58.65 a barrel and the May contract. on natural gas down nearly 13 cents to US $ 2.51 per mmBTU.

Vermilion Energy Inc. closed 5.81 percent lower and shares of Crescent Point Energy Corp. lost 5.31 percent while the sector fell 2.46 percent.

The strength of tech companies was a welcome surprise, Small said, as the information technology sector posted a small gain in Toronto, led by an 8.17 percent gain for BlackBerry Ltd. and a 4.24 percent increase for Tecsys Inc.

Technology also fueled much of the U.S. rally on Monday, with the S&P 500 rising 1.4% to a record high after closing above the 4,000 point mark for the first time last Thursday and the Dow Jones Industrial Average also at an all time high. .

“Seeing the technology bounce back as hard as it did is pretty promising,” Small said.

He said he believes the strength of the stock markets will continue as more of the population is vaccinated, allowing more of the economy to reopen, although enthusiasm may fade. ease in the second half of 2021 as life returns to normal and central banks and governments consider how to pay for their pandemic relief.

The Canadian dollar traded at 79.84 US cents on Monday versus 79.59 US cents on Thursday.

The June gold contract rose 40 cents US to $ 1,728.80 an ounce.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on April 5, 2021

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