A TSX tote board is pictured in Toronto, on Dec. 31, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

North American stock markets rally as U.S. stimulus hopes push materials higher

North American stock markets rally as U.S. stimulus hopes push materials higher

TORONTO — North American stock markets enjoyed a broad-based rally Tuesday as improving U.S. stimulus hopes helped to increase gold prices and the materials sector.

“Fiscal negotiations in the U.S. are once again front and centre with renewed hopes for a spending bill before the end of the year rejuvenating risk appetite here today,” said Candice Bangsund, portfolio manager for Fiera Capital.

A US$908-billion package is being divided in two, with US$748 billion worth of measures that have bipartisan support likely being passed this week.

“Investors are increasingly optimistic that a near-term aid package will get passed, which a few weeks ago seemed that it wasn’t even in the realm of possibility. So this is obviously helping to boost stock markets globally,” Bangsund said in an interview.

The optimism is also supported by the start of COVID-19 vaccinations in the U.S. that is helping to offset fears about rising infections and deaths that heighten the threat of new lockdowns.

Not only have vaccinations begun, but the Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday that data on Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine met expectations for emergency use. FDA approval would add a second vaccine option after one from Pfizer was previously approved. Several other possibilities remain.

News on vaccines is “bolstering that call for a rapid return to normalcy next year,” said Bangsund.

The S&P/TSX composite index closed up 119.08 points at 17,506.48.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 337.76 points at 30,199.31. The S&P 500 index was up 47.13 points at 3,694.62, while the Nasdaq composite was up 155.02 points at 12,595.06.

Nine of 11 major sectors on the TSX were higher, led by health care, materials, consumer discretionary and real estate.

Health care was helped by a 5.8 per cent gain by Aurora Cannabis Inc., while a 6.3-per-cent lift from BRP Inc. helped the consumer sector.

The metal and mining sector rose 2.1 per cent with Silvercorp Metals Inc. up 8.4 per cent and First Majestic Silver Corp up 7.5 per cent on higher metals prices.

The February gold contract was up US$23.20 at US$1,855.30 an ounce and the March copper contract was up 1.8 cents at US$3.54 a pound.

Gold gained on the prospect of additional fiscal stimulus that is viewed as inflationary.

The stimulus package is also helping the outlook for global demand that’s driving oil and copper prices higher along with commodities and other sectors linked to the fortunes of the global economy, she said.

That’s helping cyclical, economically sensitive sectors that are tied to reopenings such as energy, financials, industrials and materials that were up on Tuesday.

Energy gained nearly one percentage point as higher crude oil prices lifted shares of Seven Generations Energy Ltd. three per cent and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. 2.4 per cent.

The January crude oil contract was up 63 cents at US$47.62 per barrel and the January natural gas contract was unchanged at US$2.68 per mmBTU.

The Canadian dollar traded for 78.60 cents US compared with 78.39 cents US on Monday.

Driving the loonie’s appreciation was a jump in crude prices, a weaker U.S. dollar and strong-than-expect Canadian housing starts.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 15, 2020.

Companies in this story: (TSX:SVM, TSX:FR, TSX:VII, TSX:CNQ, TSX:ACB, TSX:DOO, TSX:GSPTSE, TSX:CADUSD=X)

Ross Marowits, The Canadian Press

Business

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Whistle Stop Cafe owner Christopher Scott and his sister Melodie are serving sit-down customers in their Mirror diner to protest health restrictions that they say are unfair to restaurants and other small businesses. Photo by PAUL COWLEY/Advocate staff
Central Alberta restaurant owner defies health restrictions by serving diners

Whistle Stop Cafe owner says pandemic restrictions unfair to restaurants and small businesses

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said in her daily update on Monday that 362 new COVID cases have been identified and 7,200 tests done in the last 24 hours. (File photo)
COVID-19: UK variant may have entered broader community says Alberta health minister

25 cases of two variants identified in Alberta and one not linked to travel

An ice sculpture of a bee with a timely message was created near the Ross Street Patio. It’s party of a Downtown Business Association initiative to draw more people downtown to support local businesses. (Photo by LANA MICHELIN/Advocate staff).
Ice sculptures created to draw more people to downtown Red Deer

Three sculptures can be seem at various venues

Lab and x-ray technologist Rebecca Walter demonstrates a new digital radiographic X-ray unit funded by an $850,000 donation. The new unit is at the Sylvan Lake Advanced Ambulatory Care Service.
Photo contributed
New Sylvan Lake X-ray unit up and running

Radiographic x-ray unit made possible by $850,000 donation from Sylvan Lake couple

(Black Press file photo)
Police seeking suspects in Bowden armed robbery

Man was beaten and robbed of his wallet

Terrance Josephson of the Princeton Posse, at left, and Tyson Conroy of the Summerland Steam clash during a Junior B hockey game at the Summerland Arena in the early spring of 2020. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Test your knowledge of Canada’s national winter sport

FILE - In this Monday, March 11, 2019, file photo, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders speaks during a news briefing at the White House, in Washington. Former White House spokeswoman Sanders is running for Arkansas governor, a source told The Associated Press, late Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci, File)
Ex-Trump spokeswoman Sanders running for Arkansas governor

Ex-Trump spokeswoman Sanders running for Arkansas governor

FILE - In this Jan. 23, 2021, file photo, registered Nurse Shyun Lin, left, gives Roberto Fisher, 72, the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at a pop-up vaccination site in the William Reid Apartments in the Brooklyn borough of New York. Coronavirus deaths and cases per day in the U.S. dropped markedly over the past couple of weeks but are still running at alarmingly high levels, and the effort to snuff out COVID-19 is becoming an ever more urgent race between the vaccine and the mutating virus. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, Pool, File)
US virus numbers drop, but race against new strains heats up

US virus numbers drop, but race against new strains heats up

President-elect Joe Biden, right, listens as Janet Yellen, who Biden nominated to serve as Secretary of the Treasury, speaks at The Queen theater, Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Janet Yellen wins Senate approval as treasury secretary

Janet Yellen wins Senate approval as treasury secretary

Vice President Mike Pence administers the oath of office to Sen. Mike Rounds, R-S.D, during a reenactment ceremony in the Old Senate Chamber at the Capitol in Washington, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021. (Samuel Corum/Pool via AP)
Trump impeachment goes to Senate, testing his sway over GOP

Trump impeachment goes to Senate, testing his sway over GOP

FILE - In this Dec. 18, 2020 file photo, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador gives his daily, morning news conference at the presidential palace, Palacio Nacional, in Mexico City. Mexico President Andrés Manuel López Obrador says he has tested positive for COVID-19 and is under medical treatment, Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte, File)
Mexican president works from isolation after virus test

Mexican president works from isolation after virus test

Dr. Jerome Leis and Dr. Lynfa Stroud are pictured at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto on Thursday, January 21, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
‘It wasn’t called COVID at the time:’ One year since Canada’s first COVID-19 case

‘It wasn’t called COVID at the time:’ One year since Canada’s first COVID-19 case

People arrive to be tested for COVID-19 at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, January 24, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Too soon to know if Canada’s COVID-19 case decline will continue, Tam says

Too soon to know if Canada’s COVID-19 case decline will continue, Tam says

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is administered to a personal support worker at the Ottawa Hospital Tuesday December 15, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canadian provinces push back vaccination plans as Pfizer deliveries grind to a halt

Canadian provinces push back vaccination plans as Pfizer deliveries grind to a halt

Most Read