A currency trader passes by screens showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI), center, and the foreign exchange rate between U.S. dollar and South Korean won, right, at the foreign exchange dealing room of the KEB Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, Oct. 15, 2021. Asian shares were higher Friday after technology companies powered the biggest gain on Wall Street since March.  THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Ahn Young-joon

S&P/TSX composite hits record high in best week since March as oil tops US$82 a barrel

S&P/TSX composite hits record high in best week since March as oil tops US$82 a barrel

TORONTO — Canada’s main stock index reached record highs on a broad rally led by the strength of the financial and energy sectors as the price of oil climbed past US$82 per barrel.

“Great day, on the heels of a great day yesterday,” Allan Small, senior investment adviser at IA Private Wealth, said Friday.

“It looks like we’re on a bit of a roll coming out of the September funk.”

The S&P/TSX composite index closed up 108.16 points to 20,928.10 after reaching an intraday high of 20,969.36. The market climbed 2.5 per cent over the Thanksgiving holiday-shortened week for its best performance since early March.

The Toronto market is up 4.3 per cent so far in October and 20 per cent year-to-date.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 382.20 points at 35,294.76. The S&P 500 index was up 33.11 points at 4,471.37, while the Nasdaq composite was up 73.91 points at 14,897.34.

The three main sectors on the TSX were “on fire” for much of the day, Small said, as the heavyweight financials sectors led, oil prices pushed energy up despite a drop in natural gas prices, and copper helped materials even though gold fell.

Financials gained nearly per cent with the Toronto-Dominion Bank up 1.8 per cent and Bank of Montreal 1.5 per cent higher as the banks moved up in sympathy with the U.S. banks that have reported strong quarterly results.

Positive signs from U.S. banks, such as improving loan loss provisions, may be echoed when Canadian banks report results next month.

“So just a general good feeling in the markets right now,” Small said in an interview, adding that economic data such as U.S. retail sales were above analyst expectations.

He said there’s a general sense that supply chain and COVID-19 constraints are getting better and inflation should start to abate a little bit.

“If that is true, then we could see higher markets moving forward.”

Energy increased as crude oil prices continued to march higher, helping to boost MEG Energy Corp. climb 2.1 per cent and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. gain 1.9 per cent.

The November crude contract was up 97 cents at US$82.28 per barrel and the November natural gas contract was down 27.7 cents at US$5.41 per mmBTU.

The Canadian dollar traded for 80.78 cents US compared with 80.83 cents US on Thursday.

Materials was slightly higher with First Quantum Minerals Ltd. up eight per cent.

The December gold contract was down US$29.60 at US$1,768.30 an ounce and the December copper contract was up 9.8 cents at US$4.73 a pound.

Technology was one of seven sectors that gained on the day as shares of Hut 8 Mining Inc. surged 15.4 per cent as the digital currency miner benefited from the price of Bitcoin moving above US$60,000.

Small said Bitcoin has climbed on reports that the U.S. may soon offer a Bitcoin or cryptocurrency ETF that is already available in Canada.

He said markets posted great ends to another volatile week.

“And in my opinion, I think volatility continues. But I think we are higher come Dec. 31 than we are today. It’s just going to be a bit choppy getting there, but I think we can still move higher before year-end.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 15, 2021.


Ross Marowits, The Canadian Press


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