North American stock markets rally as Trump holds off on raising tariffs - InfoNews

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North American stock markets rally as Trump holds off on raising tariffs

The TSX ticker is shown in Toronto on May 10, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
February 25, 2019 - 2:01 PM

TORONTO - A broad-based rally helped Canada's main stock index close higher along with New York markets as U.S. President Donald Trump agreed to hold off on raising tariffs on Chinese goods.

"A positive day in the equity markets, most specifically driven by a bit more optimism around the potential for furthering negotiations between the US and China on trade," said Craig Fehr, Canadian markets strategist for Edward Jones.

Trump tweeted that he had agreed to delay U.S. tariff hikes on China and that trade talks with the country were in advanced stages. Trade uncertainty between the two countries has been a significant overhang to the markets in recent months.

The announcement helped lift the S&P/TSX composite index up 44.02 points to close at 16,057.03.

The S&P/TSX energy index led gains with a 0.58 per cent rise as part of the broad gains that also saw financials, industrials and telecoms climb. The health-care index dipped the most, down 0.71 per cent, while consumer discretionary slipped 0.42 per cent.

Energy stocks rose despite a drop in oil prices, with the April crude contract down US$1.78 at US$55.48 per barrel after Trump also tweeted that the global economy couldn't handle a price hike.

"Another tweet, in this case, commentary from the Trump administration, kind of aimed at OPEC that oil prices still seem to be a bit too high," said Fehr.

Materials dipped slightly as Barrick Gold Corp. closed down 3.09 per cent after announcing a US$18-billion hostile takeover bit of Newmont Mining Corp.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 60.14 points at 26,091.95. The S&P 500 index ended up 3.44 points at 2,796.11, while the Nasdaq composite was up 26.92 points at 7,554.46.

Stocks rose to continue a remarkable start to the year, but Fehr cautioned that investors shouldn't expect the trend to continue.

"The rally that we've seen over the last two months is unlikely to persist in its current form. We've seen nine straight weeks of equity gains, which is a historic run by any account. I think we're probably going to see a bit more balance, a bit more volatility as we progress from here."

The Canadian dollar averaged 75.91 cents US, unchanged from Friday.

The April gold contract ended down US$3.30 at US$1,329.50 an ounce and the March copper contract was down 0.01 of a cent at US$2.95 a pound. The April natural gas contract closed up eight cents at US$2.82 per mmBTU.

Companies in this story: (TSX:GSPTSE, TSX:CADUSD=X)

News from © The Canadian Press, 2019
The Canadian Press

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