Investor confidence, higher oil prices strengthen North American stock markets

TORONTO -- Stock markets in Toronto and New York racked up gains Monday amid higher oil prices and renewed investor confidence in global economic growth.

See Full Article

On Bay Street, the S&P/TSX index closed up 32.23 points at 12,845.63 after pulling back from intraday highs.

The commodity-heavy Toronto Stock Exchange got a lift as the April contract for North American benchmark crude settled $1.64 higher at US$33.39 a barrel.

The Canadian dollar also benefited, rising 0.30 of a U.S. cent to 72.93 cents US.

Part of the catalyst for the oil rally was due to a report from the International Energy Agency, which said the pace of global supply growth is dwindling as energy companies slash production to tighten their balance sheets.

"The fact that we're continuing to see those (supply) numbers come down means production is likely going to be reined in," said Craig Fehr, Canadian markets strategist at Edward Jones in St. Louis.

"This decline in oil (prices) has been a combination of the supply and demand factors. Slowing Chinese economy has obviously dampened the outlook for demand growth, coupled with production, not only in Canada, but in the U.S. and in parts of the Middle East (that) has continued to increase. That's weighed heavily on markets."

Volatility in the price of oil and in stock markets is expected continue for some time, even though investors have shown optimism in recent weeks compared with the lows seen in equities at the start of the year.

"This rebound is quite warranted. The economics and fundamentals globally are not spectacular but they're not a disaster either," said Fehr, who described the sell-off in January as "overdone."

What will drive the market higher over the long term will be better economic data coming from the U.S. and China, which may lead to better corporate earnings.

"Those are the two key catalysts that will put a floor on this market and probably allow markets to grind higher over time," said Fehr. "In the meantime, volatility is going to remain the key word when it comes to stock prices."

Elsewhere in commodities, March copper shot up four cents to US$2.11 a pound, while April natural gas was virtually unchanged at US$1.86 per mmBtu. The April contract for gold bullion lost some of its shine, falling $20.70 to US$1,210.10 a troy ounce.

In New York, the widely watched Dow Jones industrial average soared 228.67 points or 1.40 per cent to 16,620.66, while the broader S&P 500 added 27.72 points or 1.45 per cent to 1,945.50. The Nasdaq jumped 66.18 points or 1.47 per cent to 4,570.61.


Latest Economic News

  • Court filings say multiple offers for Toys 'R' Us Canadian stores

    Economic CTV News
    U.S. court filings show that debtors for Toys "R" Us have received multiple non-binding offers for the Canadian division of the troubled retailer. The bankruptcy documents say debtors had reached out to more than 20 interested parties in a bid to sell off the 82 stores in Canada as the toy retailer looks to wind down operations. Source
  • TSX ends down along with U.S. markets, Canadian dollar makes slight gains

    Economic CBC News
    Canada's main stock index joined U.S. markets in the red Monday as a Federal Reserve meeting looms and a share price hit at Facebook over improper data use weighed on the tech sector. The S&P/TSX composite index closed down 121.94 points to 15,589.39, led by declines in energy and base metals as both oil and copper prices slipped. Source
  • Analyst warns B.C. gas prices could soon hit a record high

    Economic CTV News
    VANCOUVER -- Drivers in British Columbia should brace for record high gasoline prices this summer and the financial pain has the potential to spread across the country, says a petroleum industry analyst. Dan McTeague of the online tech company GasBuddy predicts that beginning in April and continuing to September, gasoline prices across much of B.C. Source
  • Facebook shares fall as EU, U.S. urge probes of data practices

    Economic CBC News
    Facebook Inc. faced growing pressure on Monday after European and U.S. lawmakers called for investigations into reports that a consultancy that worked on President Donald Trump's campaign gained access to data on 50 million Facebook users. Source
  • Nordstrom Rack to open first Canadian store in Vaughan, Ont., Toronto to follow

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO -- American department store Nordstrom is opening the first Canadian location of its discount Rack chain on Thursday. The 35,000-square-foot store will be situated north of Toronto at Vaughan Mills mall. It is promising savings of up to 70 per cent on products from 38 of the 50 brands already sold in its Canadian department stores. Source
  • Greenpeace says brands refusing to reveal palm oil sources

    Economic CTV News
    JAKARTA, Indonesia -- Greenpeace says several major household brands including Hershey and Johnson & Johnson have failed to disclose where they get their palm oil from despite vows to stop buying from companies that cut down tropical forests to grow the widely used commodity. Source
  • 'Took fake news to the next level': Facebook data whistleblower on U.S. election

    Economic CTV News
    NEW YORK -- A Trump-affiliated firm under scrutiny for inappropriately obtaining data on tens of millions of Facebook users created profiling algorithms that "took fake news to the next level," a former employee said. Chris Wylie said the firm, Cambridge Analytica, secured personal data in order to learn about individuals and then used it to create an information cocoon to change their perceptions. Source
  • How Facebook likes could profile voters for manipulation

    Economic CTV News
    NEW YORK -- Facebook likes can tell a lot about a person. Maybe even enough to fuel a voter-manipulation effort like the one a Trump-affiliated data-mining firm stands accused of -- and which Facebook may have enabled. Source
  • Claire's files for bankruptcy, Canadian stores spared

    Economic CTV News
    NEW YORK -- Claire's, the mall chain that has pierced the ears of millions of teens, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the U.S. but its Canadian and European stores are not involved. Source
  • Lightning fast wireless is on the way: here's how 5G will change life in Canada

    Economic CBC News
    The federal, Ontario and Quebec governments say they will spend $200 million to help fund research into 5G wireless technology, the next-generation networks with download speeds 100 times faster than current ones can handle. The so-called "5G corridor," known as ENCQOR, will see tech companies such as Ericsson, Ciena Canada, Thales Canada, IBM and CGI kick in another $200 million to develop facilities to get the project up and running. Source