Toronto stocks, loonie close higher, while U.S. markets mixed - InfoNews

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Toronto stocks, loonie close higher, while U.S. markets mixed

Canada's main stock index edged higher in late-morning trading as the loonie moved up against the U.S. dollar. A man watches the financial numbers at the TMX Group in Toronto's financial district in a May 9, 2014 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese
March 12, 2018 - 2:03 PM

Canada's main stock index closed higher Monday while U.S. markets were mixed as questions continue about the potential impacts of metal tariffs.

The S&P/TSX composite index closed up 26.98 points to 15,604.79 on a day that saw gold and base metals move higher while energy stocks weighed on the market.

Despite recent gains the index is still down four per cent year to date, with Canada's markets still lacking the sparks of the U.S. economy, said Michael Currie, vice-president of TD Wealth Private Investment Advice.

"We're just seeing more flatness, no real catalysts on Canada to get it going...it's hard for Canada to really get moving forward as long as the energy sector stays down."

The story was different in the U.S., where continued worries about the steel and aluminum tariff implications helped push industrial stocks down on the Dow, while technology stocks continued their push higher.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 157.13 points to 25,178.61. The S&P 500 index was down 3.55 points to 2,783.02 and the Nasdaq composite index was up 27.51 points to close at another record high of 7,588.32.

While Canada and Mexico are exempt from the tariffs, European countries are still seeking clarity so big industrial companies that could be affected by disruptions there — including Boeing and Caterpillar Inc. — were down, said Currie.

"You've still got Europe worried, so those companies are going to be strongly affected, the big global industrial companies, if tariffs are put on, if we get any sort of a trade war as they've been talking about. So the market seems to be focusing on those."

Meanwhile, technology stocks such as Apple and Microsoft hit new highs Monday, with the sector driving much of the underlying gains in U.S. markets, said Currie.

"Even as the markets are looking fairly positive in general, especially south of the border, it's really a very narrowly-focused group of technology stocks that are carrying almost all of the gains."

The Canadian dollar closed at 77.94 cents US, up 0.06 of a US cent.

The April crude contract was down 68 cents to US$61.36 per barrel and the April natural gas contract was up five cents at US$2.78 per mmBTU.

The April gold contract was down $3.20 to US$1,320.80 an ounce and the May copper contract was down one cent to US$3.12 a pound.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2018
The Canadian Press

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