The TMX Group logo, home of the TSX, is shown in Toronto on June 28, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Aaron Vincent Elkaim

Tech sector pushes TSX and U.S. stock markets higher on flattening of bond yields

Tech sector pushes TSX and U.S. stock markets higher on flattening of bond yields

TORONTO — Technology drove Canada’s main stock index and U.S. markets higher on a levelling of bond yields in response to dovish comments from the U.S. Federal Reserve.

Minutes from a recent meeting released Wednesday and comments Thursday by Fed chairman Jerome Powell that “didn’t rock the boat” helped to convince investors that the central bank is in no hurry to pull back on its monetary stimulus, says Erik Bregar, head of currency strategy at the Exchange Bank of Canada.

“A lot of people said that they kind of got a little too carried away with pricing-in earlier rate hikes but bonds have … calmed down a little bit this week and that’s given an environment for risk-on to continue,” he said in an interview.

U.S. 10-year bond yields slipped to 1.628 per cent after rising to as much as 1.746 at the close of March.

The move lower helped the technology sector which thrives in a low bond-yield environment.

It also pushed the S&P 500 and the S&P/TSX composite to new record highs.

The Toronto index gained 99.80 points for a record close of 19,228.87.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 57.31 points at 33,503.57. The S&P 500 index was up 17.22 points to a record close of 4,097.17, while the Nasdaq composite was up 140.47 points at 13,829.31.

Canada’s technology sector gained 2.7 per cent with BlackBerry Ltd. up 5.6 per cent, Lightspeed POS Inc. 5.3 per cent higher and Shopify Inc. gaining 5.1 per cent.

Bond yields also supported gold prices, which hit a six-week high.

The June gold contract was up US$16.60 at US$1,758.20 an ounce and the May copper contract was up four cents at US$4.09 a pound.

Shares of New Gold Inc. increased 9.4 per cent.

Energy closed slightly higher as oil prices dropped after the U.S. reported a dip in inventories. Crude stockpiles fell by 3.52 million barrels last week to 498.3 million barrels. That compared with an expected increase of 1.325 million barrels.

However, gasoline inventories rose by four million barrels, or 1.8 per cent, to 234.6 million barrels.

“I think oil’s got a few different things to potentially worry about, hence its relative underperformance this week,” Bregar said, pointing to OPEC raising its output over the next three months and the impact of lockdowns on energy demand.

The May crude contract was down 17 cents at US$59.60 per barrel and the May natural gas contract was up two tenths of a cent at US$2.52 per mmBTU.

Enerplus Corp. gained 6.6 per cent.

A weaker U.S. dollar helped the Canadian dollar to appreciate, trading for 79.50 cents US compared with 79.26 cents US on Wednesday.

The health-care sector lost 1.5 per cent as Canopy Growth Corp.’s deal to purchase Supreme Cannabis Co. Inc. caused the Ontario firm’s shares to fall 5.3 per cent while Supreme’s surged nearly 50 per cent.

Industrials moved lower with shares of Air Canada down 2.4 per cent.

A rise in weekly first-time U.S. benefit claims didn’t have a significant impact on markets after Friday’s strong jobs numbers. Some 744,000 Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week, an increase of 16,000 from the previous week.

“I think you could very much argue there’s a disconnect fundamentally there, but to be honest I can’t really point to very many jobless claims numbers that have moved markets meaningfully over the last few months,” said Bregar.

Friday’s Canadian jobs numbers for March could have an impact on the Canadian dollar if the data is weak, he said.

“But anything close to expectations or above expectations will probably just keep the market kind of where it is now, maybe a little bit higher.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 8, 2021.

Companies in this story: (TSX:WEED, TSX:AC, TSX:ERF, TSX:NGD, TSX:BB, TSX:LSPD, TSX:SHOP, 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

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Alberta vaccine rollout expanding to front-line health-care workers

More than 240,000 eligible health-care workers can begin booking vaccine appointments starting… Continue reading

File photo
The Red Deer Rebels will have three new assistant coaches when the WHL regular season starts on Friday. Brad Flynn (left), will be on the bench alongside fellow assistant Ryan Colville (right) head coach Brent Sutter (middle). (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
Sutter steps down as Red Deer Rebels head coach

Red Deer Rebels Owner, GM and head coach Brent Sutter has stepped… Continue reading

Premier Jason Kenney announced $200 million more money that will benefit seniors living in continuing care on Wednesday. (photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Alberta’s in-school rapid screening test program expanding

Alberta’s in-school rapid screening test program will expand to as many as… Continue reading

Parents and students learned Tuesday what the coming school year will look like. It's pretty much back to business as usual, said Education Minister Adriana LaGrange. School precautions include frequent cleaning, keeping students in the same groups where possible, planning the school day to allow for physical distancing and staying home when sick. (photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Alberta’s largest school board says no to United Conservative draft school curriculum

CALGARY — Alberta’s largest school board says it will not use the… Continue reading

Red Deer-South MLA Jason Stephan is among those who have signed an open letter criticizing the government’s return to stricter health measures. (Advocate file photo).
Updated: Kenney tells UCP caucus COVID-19 dissent OK, breaking health rules means expulsion

15 MLAs released letter on Wednesday critical of new health restrictions

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau watches a speaker appear by videoconference during a news conference in Ottawa, Friday, April 9, 2021. Grassroots Liberals have overwhelmingly endorsed a resolution calling on the federal government to develop and implement a universal basic income — despite Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's apparent lack of enthusiasm for the idea. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau winds up Liberal convention with election campaign-style speech

OTTAWA — Justin Trudeau wound up a three-day Liberal convention Saturday with… Continue reading

Team Canada skip Brendan Bottcher makes a shot against Italy at the Men's World Curling Championships in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, April 6, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Men’s world curling championship in Calgary in COVID limbo

CALGARY — The men’s world curling championship in Calgary remained suspended Saturday… Continue reading

Pipes intended for construction of the Keystone XL pipeline are shown in Gascoyne, N.D. on Wednesday April 22, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Alex Panetta
Non-profit Quebec law centre to aid environmental group targeted by Alberta oil firm

QUEBEC — The Quebec Environmental Law Centre is coming to the aid… Continue reading

Conservative leader Erin O'Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, April 6, 2020. Top Tory leaders of past and present will speak with supporters today about what a conservative economic recovery from COVID-19 could look like. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Conservatives cite empathy, relationships as ways to help expand their movement

OTTAWA — Conservatives should show empathy with Black residents who say they’ve… Continue reading

NDP Leader John Horgan celebrates his election win in the British Columbia provincial election in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. New Democrats are reconvening for the second day of a three-day policy convention as they look to push past the glitches of the virtual event's opening sessions and rally around keynote speaker John Horgan. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
New Democrats reconvene as hiccups, frustrations plague national policy convention

OTTAWA — New Democrats reconvened Saturday for the second day of a… Continue reading

FILE - In this Monday, Oct. 23, 2017 file photo, President Donald Trump speaks during a joint statement with Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington. Former President Donald Trump plans to affirm his commitment to the Republican Party — and raise the possibility that someone else will be the GOP's next presidential nominee — in a closed-door speech to donors Saturday night, April 10, 2021. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)
Trump in 2024? He says only that ‘a Republican’ will win

PALM BEACH, Fla. — Former President Donald Trump plans to affirm his… Continue reading

A cruise ship sits docked waiting for passengers to be evacuated in Kingstown, on the eastern Caribbean island of St. Vincent, Friday, April 9, 2021 due to the eruption of La Soufriere volcano. (AP Photo/Orvil Samuel)
Ash-covered St. Vincent braces for more volcanic eruptions

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent — People who ignored an initial warning to evacuate… Continue reading

Owner of 4 Point Taekwondo Kevin Mejia holds a board as organizer and martial artist Kevin Olsen breaks it in Edmonton on Friday, April 9, 2021. One hundred martial artists from around the world, will be breaking a board for an event called "Break for a Breakthrough." The idea is for martial artists to unite and re-engage with the arts because they may have drifted away or lost enthusiasm as a result of the pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Break for a Breakthrough: Canadian hosts international martial arts demonstration

EDMONTON — Whether he’s breaking a wooden board, a clay tile, cement… Continue reading

Most Read