The Canadian dollar coin is pictured in North Vancouver, B.C., Wednesday, May 29, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

S&P/TSX composite closes at record high, U.S. markets mixed after inflation report

S&P/TSX composite closes at record high, U.S. markets mixed after inflation report

Rising commodity values helped lift Canada’s main stock exchange to a record close Wednesday, while U.S. markets were mixed following an inflation report that missed expectations.

Mike Archibald, vice-president and portfolio manager with AGF Investments Inc., said the U.S. consumer price index report found prices excluding energy and food, rose by 0.3 per cent from the previous month — a key benchmark that economists had expected to be higher at 0.4 per cent.

“I think the market was expecting and positioning for a slightly hotter number,” said Archibald.

“That would’ve resulted in a pull forward of the discussion around tapering from the U.S. Federal Reserve.”

Instead, reaction to the news led to a weaker U.S. dollar, weaker U.S. bond yields with the benchmark 10-year yield sitting at 1.334 per cent in the afternoon, and an ideal environment for commodities like gold.

The December gold contract was up US$21.60 at US$1,753.30 an ounce and the September copper contract was up 1.4 cents at US$4.37 a pound.

The September crude oil contract was also up 96 cents at US$69.25 per barrel.

That helped lift the S&P/TSX composite index up 58.27 points to a record close at 20,554.01, as its materials index rose by 1.26 per cent to 317.26 points, and the gold index rose 1.98 per cent to 288.51 points.

The Canadian dollar also benefitted from the U.S. inflation news, rising to 79.96 cents US compared with 79.74 cents US on Tuesday.

Archibald said the TSX is continuing to follow its expected choppy upward pattern for the month of August.

“Today is reflective of what we’ve seen for the last six months,” said Archibald.

“The market isn’t moving a significant amount … but it is continuing to chug higher on a daily basis.”

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 220.30 points at 35,484.97. The S&P 500 index was up 10.95 points at 4,447.70, while the Nasdaq composite was down 22.95 points at 14,765.14.

Earnings reports were the main movers of Canadian stocks, with Archibald pointing out Cambridge. Ont.,-based ATS Automation Tooling Systems Inc. as the TSX’s top performer following a positive second-quarter report.

The stock finished the day up $4.52 or 11.96 per cent to $42.32

Montreal-based Intertape Polymer Group and Stelco Holdings Inc. also had positive days, finishing up 10.08 per cent and 5.57 per cent respectively.

Meanwhile, Canada Goose Holdings Inc. was the day’s weakest performer, with the luxury parka maker reported a quarterly loss even as its revenue doubled compared with the same period in 2020. The company’s shares dipped 13.1 per cent.

Looking forward, Archibald noted Canadian Tire Corp. and Brookfield Asset Management Inc. as two companies to watch for when they report their earnings tomorrow.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 11, 2021.

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

Salmaan Farooqui, The Canadian Press

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