Resource and tech sectors help boost stocks in Toronto; U.S. markets higher - InfoNews

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Resource and tech sectors help boost stocks in Toronto; U.S. markets higher

The Toronto Stock Exchange Broadcast Centre is shown in Toronto on June 28, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Aaron Vincent Elkaim
April 17, 2018 - 2:10 PM

Resource and technology stocks helped boost Canada's main stock index Tuesday, while U.S. markets were solidly higher.

The rise in stock prices, especially in the U.S., came after another day of easing tensions on the trade front as well as strong earnings results so far, said Craig Jerusalim, portfolio manager at CIBC Global Asset Management.

"The U.S. market is up, I would say, on positive earnings as well as easing of political concerns, specifically around the China trade war. Fears have been calming down, and we saw more signs today about them opening up their auto sector, which would be seen as a positive development."

Canadian markets have also seen gains as investors lean towards riskier assets, but haven't seen the same boost from trade and earnings progress, said Jerusalim.

"Different story in Canada. There is strength today in Canada and that's coming specifically from the energy and technology sector. Again that's a sign of risk on."

The S&P/TSX composite index closed up 52.92 points at 15,353.30 for a 0.35 per cent gain.

"It's more modest in Canada, and that's sort of been the trend we've seen all year," said Jerusalim.

In New York, the Nasdaq composite index ended up 124.82 points or 1.74 per cent at 7,281.10 after big gains from tech stocks like Netflix. The S&P 500 index ended up 28.55 points or 1.07 per cent at 2,706.39, while the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 213.59 points at 24,786.63.

The Canadian dollar averaged 79.67 cents US, up 0.17 of a US cent to continue fairly steady gains for the past month.

Jerusalim said the consensus is that the Bank of Canada will keep rates steady in its announcement Wednesday, doing little to help the loonie. But easing tensions on NAFTA discussions and rising oil prices are helping.

"There's been an easing of the tense negotiations we saw earlier in the year, and that can be a slight positive," he said.

The dollar climbed on the same day Statistics Canada said manufacturing sales grew by 1.9 per cent February, reversing two straight months of decreases.

The federal agency said factory sales reached $55.8-billion for the month, boosted by the transportation equipment industry where sales were up 6.6 per cent following assembly plant shutdowns in January.

The day also saw the International Monetary Fund slightly downgrade expected growth for Canada, forecasting moderate growth of 2.1 per cent this year compared with the 2.3 per cent it said in January.

The May crude contract closed up 30 cents at US$66.52 per barrel and the May natural gas contract was down a penny at US$2.74 per mmBTU.

The June gold contract closed down US$1.20 to US$1,349.50 an ounce and the May copper contract ended down two cents at US$3.08 a pound.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2018
The Canadian Press

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