Toronto stock index climbs amid surge in energy sector, Wall Street hits records | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Toronto stock index climbs amid surge in energy sector, Wall Street hits records

July 19, 2017 - 1:54 PM

TORONTO - Rising energy stocks helped push Canada's main stock index higher Wednesday amid a surprise drawdown in U.S. fuel stockpiles that helped boost oil prices.

In Toronto, the S&P/TSX composite index climbed 95.14 points to 15,244.71, with the energy sector the leading advancers. Shares in Encana Corp. (TSX:ECA) were up 4.68 per cent to $12.53 and Husky Energy's (TSX:HSE) stock jumped 3.5 per cent to $14.78.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported that crude supplies fell by 4.7 million barrels last week. The data helped drive the September crude oil contract up 73 cents to US$47.32 per barrel. August natural gas contracts dipped two cents US$3.07 per mmBTU.

"The inventory number was quite a surprise," said Norman Levine, managing director at Portfolio Management Corp.

Oil prices have mostly stayed within the US$40 and US$55 a barrel range since mid-February of 2016 after they plunged from more than US$100 a barrel in mid-2014.

The August gold contract added 10 cents to US$1,242 an ounce and the September copper contract pulled back two cents at US$2.71 a pound.

In New York, all three major indexes surged to new records. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 66.02 points to 21,640.75, while the S&P 500 index rose 13.22 points to 2,473.83. The Nasdaq composite index climbed 40.73 points to 6,385.04.

Levine says investors seem to be shrugging off news earlier this week that U.S. President Donald Trump's Republican health care bill was defeated in the Senate.

It was anticipated that investors would read the bill's failure as an indicator that Trump will not be able to move ahead with his other business-friendly proposals but that hasn't been the case.

"Investors have to understand that politics is mostly noise," Levine said. "They should instead be looking at company and earnings fundamentals. Politics are emotional and don't really have much to do with the markets and investors are best to ignore it."

In currencies, the Canadian dollar was up 0.21 of a U.S. cent to an average price of 79.40 cents US.

— With files from The Associated Press

Follow @LindaNguyenTO on Twitter.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2017
The Canadian Press

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