A man works in the broadcast centre at the TMX Group Ltd. in Toronto, on May 9, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese

TSX edges higher as gain by Shopify offsets drag from energy sector

TSX edges higher as gain by Shopify offsets drag from energy sector

TORONTO — Canada’s main stock index edged higher midweek as a big gain by the country’s most valuable company offset weakness in the energy sector.

Shares of Shopify Inc. surged 8.3 per cent after a U.S. analyst upgraded the tech darling.

“When you see the No. 1 stock in Canada taking a huge move like that, it’s certainly very positive news for the sector,” said Michael Currie, vice-president and investment adviser at TD Wealth.

As a result, the technology sector was the best performer on the TSX, climbing 1.8 per cent.

The S&P/TSX composite index closed up 60.94 points to 17,567.42.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 44.77 points at 30,154.54. The S&P 500 index was up 6.55 points at 3,701.17, while the Nasdaq composite was up 63.13 points at 12,658.19, after setting another record high of 12,687.32 in earlier trading.

Materials rose 1.4 per cent on higher gold prices with First Majestic Silver Corp. increasing 7.1 per cent.

The February gold contract was up US$3.80 at US$1,859.10 an ounce and the March copper contract was up 1.45 cents at nearly US$3.56 a pound.

Energy was the weakest of any sector, dropping 2.5 per cent despite higher crude oil prices.

The January crude oil contract was up 20 cents at US$47.82 per barrel and the January natural gas contract was down half a cent at almost US$2.68 per mmBTU.

Several Canadian oil producers saw their stocks fall. Husky Energy Inc. was down 3.9 per cent, Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. off 3.3 per cent and Cenovus Energy Inc. 3.1 per cent lower.

U.S. crude stockpiles fell last week by 3.1 million barrels while efforts to approve a U.S. stimulus package would be positive for oil demand.

Oil demand in the U.S. is down 13 per cent year-to-date due to the pandemic.

Also negative for oil was a 1.1 per cent decrease in U.S. retail sales in November on growing COVID-19 infections and lower household income.

Industrials moved lower on a 10.1 per cent decrease in Air Canada shares after the airline priced its previously announced public offering of 35.4 million shares at $24, for gross proceeds of $850 million.

Meanwhile, U.S. markets reacted marginally to the U.S. Federal Reserve, which once again vowed on Wednesday to keep buying bonds each month until they reach their goals of maximum employment and price stability.

The central bank also upgraded its 2020 GDP productions projections to a decline of 2.4 per cent from the 3.7 per cent drop it outlined in September.

It also raised its forecasts for 2021 to 4.2 per cent from four per cent and said the unemployment rate should drop to five per cent from a revised forecast of 6.7 per cent in 2020.

“On the positive side, you’ve got a lot of optimism on the stimulus package coming. On the other hand, you’ve got the Fed saying there’s still a lot of work to be done,” Currie said.

The Canadian dollar traded for 78.41 cents US compared with 78.60 cents US on Tuesday.

In Canada, the annual inflation rate in November rose to its fastest pace since the start of the pandemic, driven by a rise in prices for homes, rent and goods around the house.

Statistics Canada said Wednesday the one per cent increase in the consumer price index compared with November 2019 was up from a year-over-year increase of 0.7 per cent in October and 0.5 per cent in September.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 16, 2020.

Companies in this story: (TSX:AC, TSX:FR, TSX:HSE, TSX:CNQ, TSX:CVE, 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

People lineup at a hotel for the homeless before the 8 p.m. COVID-19 curfew on Jan. 11, 2021, in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Legault nixes call for COVID-19 curfew exemption, saying it could used to avoid fines

Legault nixes call for COVID-19 curfew exemption, saying it could used to avoid fines

The body of 25-year-old Kyler Corriveau was discovered near Red Deer on Sunday. He was missing since Dec. 15. Police are investigating his death as a homicide. (Contrinuted photo).
RCMP are investigating the death of missing Red Deer man as a homicide

The body of Kyler Corriveau was discovered on Sunday

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw reported 456 new cases of COVID-19 over Tuesday afternoon. (photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Five new COVID-19 deaths in Central zone, two in Red Deer

Province reports 456 new cases of COVID-19

Community Futures Central Alberta, in partnership with the Central Alberta Regional Innovation Network (CARIN), is behind the SMARTstart initiative for budding entrepreneurs.
New program aimed at helping entrepreneurs succeed

Program offers mentorship, business advice and networking opportunities

A Red Deer man, who has been declared a dangerous offender, lost his appeal of an aggravated assault conviction from 2017. Advocate file photo
Red Deer man who chomped on remand centre inmate’s ear loses aggravated assault appeal

Inmate lost part of his ear in attack at Red Deer Remand Centre in August 2017

Justin Kripps of Summerland and his team have competed in Olympic action and World Cup competitions in bobsleigh. (Jason Ransom-Canadian Olympic Comittee).
QUIZ: Are you ready for some winter sports?

It’s cold outside, but there are plenty of recreation opportunities in the winter months

Soldiers parade from Parliament Hill as they take part in the National Day of Honour in Ottawa on Friday, May 9, 2014. Canada’s veterans ombudsman is calling on the federal government reverse to restrictions on the provision of mental-health services for the families of retired military personnel. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Ombudsman slams new restrictions on mental-health support for veterans’ families

Ombudsman slams new restrictions on mental-health support for veterans’ families

FILE - John Mulaney arrives at night one of the Creative Arts Emmy Awards on Sept. 14, 2019, in Los Angeles. A file obtained by The Associated Press shows the U.S. Secret Service investigated John Mulaney, but found no wrongdoing in a joke the comedian made on “Saturday Night Live” in February 2020. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)
File details investigation into John Mulaney ‘SNL’ monologue

File details investigation into John Mulaney ‘SNL’ monologue

FILE - In this Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017, file photo, Tom Hanks arrives at the People's Choice Awards at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. Hanks will host a 90-minute primetime TV special celebrating the inauguration of Joe Biden as president of the United States. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)
From Gaga to Garth, Miranda to Moreno: Celebs join inaugural

Like so much this past year, the inaugural celebration will be like… Continue reading

A Honduran migrant poses for a photo at a road block manned by Guatemalan soldiers and police, on the highway in Vado Hondo, Guatemala, Monday, Jan. 18, 2021. Some migrants threw rocks while authorities launched tear gas and pushed the migrants with their riot shields back down the highway. (AP Photo/Sandra Sebastian)
Large migrant caravan dissolves in Guatemala

Large migrant caravan dissolves in Guatemala

FILE - In this May 2, 2020, file photo, Erika Bermudez becomes emotional as she leans over the grave of her mother, Eudiana Smith, at Bayview Cemetery in Jersey City, N.J., Bermudez was not allowed to approach the gravesite until cemetery workers had buried her mother, who died of COVID-19. Other members of the family and friends stayed in their cars. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)
‘Shameful’: US virus deaths top 400K as Trump leaves office

‘Shameful’: US virus deaths top 400K as Trump leaves office

Riot shields are stacked at the ready as National Guard troops reinforce the security zone on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021, before President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th president on Wednesday. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
2 Guard members made extremist statements about inauguration

2 Guard members made extremist statements about inauguration

In this Jan. 6, 2021, photo, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., walks from the Senate floor to his office on Capitol Hill in Washington. Now that the House has impeached President Donald Trump for the second time, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi must figure out the best strategy for arguing the case before the Senate. Senate rules say the trial must start soon after the chamber receives the article of impeachment, which cites “incitement of insurrection” after an angry mob of Trump’s supporters invaded the Capitol last week. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
McConnell: Trump ‘provoked’ Capitol siege, mob was fed lies

McConnell: Trump ‘provoked’ Capitol siege, mob was fed lies

Biden marks nation’s Covid grief before inauguration pomp

Biden marks nation’s Covid grief before inauguration pomp

Most Read