A new one dollar coin commemorating equal rights for LGBTQ2 Canadians is seen at the official unveiling event in Toronto, Tuesday, April 23, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tijana Martin

S&P/TSX composite approaches record high with help from materials, technology

S&P/TSX composite approaches record high with help from materials, technology

TORONTO — Canada’s main stock index moved to within two per cent of a record high Monday on gains in the materials and technology sectors.

Gold and silver prices increased, partly on expectations that U.S. politicians will agree to additional fiscal stimulus, said Angelo Kourkafas, analyst on the investment strategy team at Edward Jones.

In addition, there are renewed geopolitical concerns about ongoing Brexit negotiations ahead of Wednesday’s deadline and the potential for new U.S. sanctions on Chinese officials over the crackdown on Hong Kong.

The February gold contract was up US$26.00 at US$1,866.00 an ounce and the March copper contract was down 0.8 of a cent at almost US$3.52 a pound.

Materials rose 2.1 per cent as shares of Oceanagold Corp. surged 31.9 per cent while Kinross Gold Corp. were up 7.5 per cent.

The improved performance of Canada’s technology sector and the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite in the U.S. were attributable to worsening coronavirus trends and lockdowns on both sides of the border, Kourkafas said.

“The focus and the market’s attention … is looking forward for the vaccine potential distribution. And that continues to be the main driver of sentiment,” he said in an interview.

Canadian and U.S health regulators are expected to soon grant emergency authorization for at least two vaccines presented by Pfizer and Moderna. A third vaccine has also been developed by AstraZeneca.

Technology rose 1.3 per cent with shares of Shopify Inc. up 2.9 per cent.

“We have seen this kind of tug-of-war between vaccine optimism and worsening coronavirus trends and clearly the focus now, especially in the U.S., is turning to the negotiations in Washington.”

The S&P/TSX composite index closed up 61.38 points to 17,582.35. It hit an intraday high of 17,611.48 that is less than two per cent or 359 points below February’s record high.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 148.47 points at 30,069.79. The S&P 500 index was down 7.16 points at 3,691.96, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite was up 55.72 points at 12,519.95.

The Canadian dollar was unchanged from Friday at 78.12 cents US.

The January crude contract was down 50 cents at US$45.76 per barrel and the January natural gas contract was down 16.9 cents at nearly US$2.41 per mmBTU.

Lower prices pushed the energy sector down 0.9 per cent with Tourmaline Oil Corp. off 5.1 per cent. The price fall is attributable to concerns about demand as new restrictions in movement translates into lower demand for travel and a pullback after last week’s strong oil price gains.

“So we’re seeing kind of that effect of the renewed restrictions show up in a little bit of a loss of momentum in the economic data. And we expect that to likely persist for the remainder of the year and likely the first quarter of next year,” said Kourkafas.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 7, 2020.

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

Ross Marowits, The Canadian Press

Business

Just Posted

Red Deer respiratory therapist Sarah MacKenzie was among the first central Alberta health professionals to receive the Pfizer vaccine in December 2020. Since then, nearly 3.4 million doses have been administered and COVID cases are falling rapidly. Photo by Alberta Health Services
Red Deer COVID cases continue to fall sharply

Red Deer cases almost into the double digits after topping more than 900 only five weeks ago

(Advocate file photo.)
Red Deer city council discusses strategies to restore integrated emergency dispatching

Red Deer city councillors discussed additional ways on Tuesday to try to… Continue reading

Local developers who are doing building upgrades or new construction will face less land servicing costs and gain some flexibility. (File photo by Advocate staff)
From left: Montana First Nation councillor Reggie Rabbit, Samson Cree Nation councillor Louise Omeasoo, Samson Cree Nation councillor Katherine Swampy, Samson Cree Nation councillor Shannon Buffalo and Samson Cree Nation chief Vern Saddleback were present during the painting of the Maskwacis Pride crosswalk. (Contributed photo)
Being gay made him contemplate suicide: Councillor in Maskwacis opens up

Maskwacis got a bit mote colourful over the weekend. Volunteers spent Saturday… Continue reading

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Jan Rutta (44) celebrates with defenseman Victor Hedman (77) after Rutta scored against the New York Islanders during the third period in Game 2 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Tuesday, June 15, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Kucherov shines, Lightning beat Islanders 4-2 in Game 2

Lightning 4 Islanders 2 (Series tied 2-2) TAMPA, Fla. — Brayden Point… Continue reading

Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) shoots as Milwaukee Bucks guard Pat Connaughton (24) defends during the fourth quarter of Game 5 of a second-round NBA basketball playoff series Tuesday, June 15, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Durant’s sensational performance sends Nets to 3-2 lead

Nets 114 Bucks 108 (Brooklyn leads series 3-2) NEW YORK (AP) —… Continue reading

New York Yankees starting pitcher Jordan Montgomery throws to a Toronto Blue Jays batter during the first inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, June 15, 2021, in Buffalo, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)
Frazier snaps tie, Yankees come back to beat Blue Jays 6-5

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Clint Frazier snapped an eighth-inning tie with a pinch-hit… Continue reading

The Pornhub website is shown on a computer screen in Toronto on Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020. Pornhub says it has removed all content uploaded by non-verified users. The sex website faced accusations it hosted illegal content. The company, which is owned by Montreal-based Mindgeek, says it has suspended all previously uploaded content that was not created by one of its content partners or members of its Model Program. THE CANADIAN PRESS
International women’s rights advocates call on Canada to hold Pornhub to account

Jeanette Westbrook says being sexually abused as a child will haunt her… Continue reading

FILE - In this Jan. 9, 2021 file photo, transporters Miguel Lopez, right, Noe Meza prepare to move a body of a COVID-19 victim to a morgue at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in the Mission Hills section of Los Angeles. The U.S. death toll from COVID-19 has topped 600,000, even as the vaccination drive has drastically slashed daily cases and deaths and allowed the country to emerge from the gloom. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)
US COVID-19 deaths hit 600,000, equal to yearly cancer toll

The U.S. death toll from COVID-19 topped 600,000 on Tuesday, even as… Continue reading

FILE - In this April 1, 2019 file photo, Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry talks about health care legislation he's backing in the upcoming session, in Baton Rouge, La. The Biden administration’s suspension of new oil and gas leases on federal land and water was blocked Tuesday by a federal judge in Louisiana. U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty's ruling came in a lawsuit filed in March by Louisiana’s Republican attorney general, Jeff Landry and officials in 12 other states. (AP Photo/Melinda Deslatte, File)
Federal judge blocks Biden’s pause on new oil, gas leases

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The Biden administration’s suspension of new oil and… Continue reading

Israeli police officers detain a Palestinian man during clashes that erupted ahead of a planned march by Jewish ultranationalists through east Jerusalem, outside Jerusalem's Old City, Tuesday, June 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)
Israelis march in east Jerusalem in test for new government

JERUSALEM (AP) — Hundreds of Israeli ultranationalists, some chanting “Death to Arabs,”… Continue reading

Montreal Canadiens right wing Brendan Gallagher (11) vies for the puck with Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alex Pietrangelo (7) during the third period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Vets Pietrangelo, Perry contributing for Vegas, Montreal

LAS VEGAS — Alex Pietrangelo and Corey Perry had very different free… Continue reading

Most Read