TORONTO — Rallying metals and energy shares led a broad-based advance on Canada’s main stock index Friday, as oil and gold prices rose sharply.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 64.97 points to 15,807.17.
“Nearly a third of the equity markets are benefiting from the resource trade,” said Shailesh Kshatriya, director of Canadian strategies at Russell Investments Canada.
Rising oil prices saw the November crude contract advance 85 cents to US$51.45 per barrel — an increase which Kshatriya partially attributed to bullish trade data showing that Chinese oil imports were up.
Looking at 2017 as a whole, an International Energy Agency report released Thursday said that it expects Chinese oil demand growth to accelerate to 540 kb/d from 310 kb/d in 2016.
Some geopolitical uncertainties out of oil-rich regions in the Middle East also contributed to Friday’s bounce in crude prices, Kshatriya added. “That could potentially contribute some disruption in terms of movement of oil for that region,” he said.
Base metals and materials companies rose on the TSX with metal prices. The December gold contract advanced $8.10 to US$1,304.60 an ounce and the December copper contract was up one cent to US$3.13 a pound.
South of the border, it was also a positive day for Wall Street, despite falling health insurer and hospital operator stocks in the wake of President Donald Trump’s decision to stop government payments to insurance companies under the Affordable Care Act.
The Dow Jones industrial average added 30.71 points to 22,871.72 and the S&P 500 index inched up 2.24 points to 2,553.17. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq composite index gained 14.29 points to 6,605.80, a record high.
In currency markets, the Canadian dollar was trading at an average price of 80.08 cents US, down 0.10 of a cent.
Elsewhere in commodities, the November natural gas contract was up one cent at US$3.00 per mmBTU.
The Canadian Press