Economy & Markets

Canadian dollar falls two-thirds of a cent

By Aleksandra Sagan |
Source: The Canadian Press

Major North American indices made gains Friday, with those in New York setting record highs, as investors felt confident about the economy and the global political climate.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index gained 39.22 points to 15,857.22.

In New York, all three indices reached new highs.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 165.59 points to 23,328.63 and the S&P 500 index advanced 13.11 points to 2,575.21. That's the fifth consecutive record-setting day for each index.

The Nasdaq composite index, meanwhile, set a new high as it added 23.98 points to 6,629.05.

The positive momentum comes as investors have decided that there's little political risk and the economy is pretty stable, said Sadiq Adatia, chief investment officer at Sun Life Global Investments.

"There really is very little out there today that should disrupt markets," he said.

Everyone is watching the Chinese Communist Party's Congress, set to end next week, and parliamentary elections in Japan this weekend, Adatia said. But no surprises are expected from either event, he added.

The TSX, which has recently experienced a rally, also benefits from lower expectations that the Bank of Canada will raise its benchmark interest rate once more before the end of the year, he said.

Statistics Canada released inflation figures Friday that showed Canada's annual inflation rate rose to 1.6% in September, up from 1.4% the previous month.

The Bank of Canada scrutinizes the agency's consumer price index ahead of rate decisions and economists said it's unlikely the increase will push the central bank to raise rates at next Wednesday's scheduled policy meeting.

In currency markets, the Canadian dollar was trading at an average price of 79.36¢ US, down 0.78 of a U.S. cent.

In commodities, the December crude contract gained 33¢ to US$51.84 per barrel and the November natural gas contract rose roughly US4¢ to about US$2.92 per mmBTU.

The December gold contract shed US$9.50 to US$1,280.50 an ounce and the December copper contract was relatively unchanged at about US$3.17 a pound.

With files from the Associated Press