S&P/TSX Composite Index Hits Record Closing on Economic News; shift in energy shares


TORONTO — Good economic news from south of the border and optimism that the pandemic is over led Canada’s main stock index to a record close in post-Easter trading on Monday, despite falling prices for the oil.

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

The US government announced on Friday that employers launched a hiring spree in March, adding 916,000 jobs, the most since August.

Trader reaction was delayed until Monday as markets were closed for Good Friday. Investors were then encouraged by a report on Monday showing the U.S. services sector posted record growth in March as orders, hiring and prices rose.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 373.98 points to 33,527.19. The S&P 500 index rose 58.04 points to 4,077.91, and the Nasdaq composite rose 225.49 points to 13,705.59.

“All this is positive, the market likes it, we are seeing a recovery. The reopening train is still moving forward 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 rehire a lot of people a lot sooner than I think these companies actually anticipated and I think we’re going to see that in our country as well.

He pointed out that Delta Air Lines canceled about 100 flights on Sunday due to staff shortages amid higher than expected bookings and predicted that Canadian airlines would eventually experience a faster than expected recovery due to the repressed request.

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

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

Meanwhile, forest products companies Canfor Corp. and Interfor Corp. raised their recent record lumber and panel prices to post increases of 3.65% and 3.33%, respectively.

At the other end of the spectrum was the energy sector, where companies trailed the May 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 down 5.81% and shares of Crescent Point Energy Corp. lost 5.31% as the sector fell 2.46%.

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

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

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

He said he believed stock market strength would continue as more of the population is vaccinated, allowing more of the economy to reopen, although enthusiasm may wane over the course of the year. of 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 was trading at 79.84 US cents on Monday against 79.59 US cents on Thursday.

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

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

Companies in this story: (TSX:GSPTSE, TSX:CADUSD=X, TSX:TCS, TSX:BB, TSX:ERO, TSX:FM, TSX:CFP, TSX:IFP, TSX:VET, TSX:CPG)

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