A currency trader gestures near the screen showing the foreign exchange rate between U.S. dollar and South Korean won at a foreign exchange dealing room in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, Sept. 24, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Lee Jin-man

Tech, materials sectors help lift S&P/TSX composite higher despite energy dip

Tech, materials sectors help lift S&P/TSX composite higher despite energy dip

TORONTO — A broad-based rally led by the technology and materials sectors helped to lift Canada’s main stock index midweek even though a dip in crude oil prices pushed energy lower.

The S&P/TSX composite index closed up 181.35 points to 20,618.47.

“A pretty good day all around. We had half of the sectors were up more than one per cent today,” said Michael Currie, vice-president and investment adviser at TD Wealth.

Only energy and financials were lower.

Technology was the best of the nine sectors that posted gains, rising 2.2 per cent in Canada in sympathy with the Nasdaq, which was up more than 100 points on a mixed day in New York. Hut 8 Mining Corp. led, gaining 6.6 per cent, followed by BlackBerry Ltd. up 4.7 per cent, Lightspeed Commerce Inc. up 3.7 per cent and Shopify Inc. 2.9 per cent higher.

Materials was slightly behind, climbing just under 2.2 per cent as gold prices had their best day in about a month.

The December gold contract was up US$35.40 at US$1,794.70 an ounce and the December copper contract was up 19.1 cents at nearly US$4.52 a pound.

Shares of Eldorado Gold rose 9.3 per cent while B2Gold Corp. gained 6.8 per cent.

The rise in gold prices came as the U.S. reported its highest inflation level in 13 years in September.

The consumer price index increased 5.4 per cent year over year, above the forecasted rate of 5.3 per cent.

Gold is considered an inflation hedge.

Energy lost 0.6 per cent as crude oil prices slipped on worries that high inflation will reduce energy demand.

“Inflation seemed to work against oil today and in favour of gold,” Currie said in an interview.

The November crude contract was down 20 cents at US$80.44 per barrel and the November natural gas contract was up 8.5 cents at US$5.59 per mmBTU.

Vermillion Energy Inc. lost 2.3 per cent, followed by Crescent Point Energy Corp. and Cenovus Energy Inc. down 1.9 and 1.8 per cent, respectively.

The Canadian dollar traded for 80.35 cents US compared with 80.25 cents US on Tuesday.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 0.53 of a point at 34,377.81. The S&P 500 index was up 13.15 points at 4,363.80, while the Nasdaq composite was up 105.71 points at 14,571.64.

The first corporate results from the third quarter were strong, with JPMorgan Chase & Co. and BlackRock Inc. beating expectations. The U.S. bank’s shares lost 2.6 per cent while the asset manager was slightly higher on the day.

Minutes from the Federal Reserve’s last meeting and released Wednesday suggested the central bank will begin tapering its bond purchases by US$15 billion a month, likely starting in mid-November.

However, Currie said the high inflation reading could prompt a slight delay.

“Some people were expecting a bigger trim than the $15 billion, but maybe that’s an indication to people that inflation is more of a concern than the Fed wants to let on.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 13, 2021.


Ross Marowits, The Canadian Press


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