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Markets

Toronto stock index races to record close as Powell soothes sentiment

  • Energy stocks were supported by higher oil prices on worries about supply disruption in Gulf of Mexico as Tropical Storm Ida advanced, while gold stocks got a boost from higher bullion prices
Published August 28, 2021
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Canada's main share index hit another record closing peak on Friday, supported by gains in global stock markets as U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's remarks at the Jackson Hole Symposium calmed fears over the tapering timetable.

Energy stocks were supported by higher oil prices on worries about supply disruption in Gulf of Mexico as Tropical Storm Ida advanced, while gold stocks got a boost from higher bullion prices.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index rose 140.49 points, or 0.69pc, to provisionally end at 20,644.64, surpassing the previous closing record set earlier this week.

In his prepared remarks on Friday, Powell affirmed an ongoing U.S. economic recovery and explained why there is no rush to tighten monetary policy.

He gave a detailed account on of why he regards a spike in inflation as temporary and offered no signal on when the central bank plans to cut its asset purchases beyond saying it could be "this year."

"Soothing words from the Fed regarding the pace of tapering has the S&P 500 and Nasdaq reaching new highs today. In the absence of new catalysts, investors have seized on Powell's dovish comments to push markets higher," Elvis Picardo, a portfolio manager at Luft Financial, iA Private Wealth, said.

TSX flat as healthcare gains counter commodity-related weakness

Energy sub-index climbed 3.1pc to a two-week high with U.S. crude prices up 1.9pc as energy companies began shutting production in the Gulf of Mexico ahead of a possible hurricane forecast to hit during the weekend.

Trading in Canadian and U.S. stocks has been subdued this week on fears Powell would hint the Fed was ready to start tapering its massive pandemic-era stimulus amid a steady economic recovery.

Bank stocks fell for a second straight day following a promise this week by the ruling Liberal Party to raise corporate income taxes on financial firms if re-elected.

HIGHLIGHTS

Gold and silver stocks benefited from a rally in precious metals. Barrick Gold rose 2.1pc, while OceanaGold Corp firmed 6.4pc, while Endeavour Silver Corp added 6.4pc. Endeavour was the top gainer in TSX, followed by OceanaGold.

Suncor Energy rallied 2.3pc and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd firmed 4.5pc on the back of gains in oil prices. Suncor Energy was the top traded stock by volume followed by Great-West LifeCo.

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