Economy & Markets

Canadian dollar weakens

By David Hodges |
Source: The Canadian Press

Mining companies led a largely broad-based gain on Canada's main stock index Monday as the loonie lost ground to the U.S. dollar.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was up 63.64 points to 15,236.67 — with base metals gains of more 2% helping to offset gold sector losses of about 1%.

"Broadly we're seeing small gains in equity market indices, not only domestically but also around the world," said Craig Fehr, a Canadian markets strategist for Edward Jones in St. Louis.

"I'd probably categorize it as another one of these days where in the absence of bad news, the direction for equity markets continue to be higher. And I think that's a reflection of the fact that economic growth and corporate profits continue to be the undercurrent for equity market gains."

On Wall Street, it was also another positive day as investors looked ahead to the latest two-day policy meeting of the U.S. Federal Reserve, set to begin Tuesday.

Traders will be listening for indications on the timing for the next rate hike and when the Fed might start shrinking its multitrillion-dollar stockpile of bonds. Forecasters expect the Fed to leave rates unchanged and stick to plans to raise rates in December.

The Dow Jones industrial average advanced 63.01 points to 22,331.35, the S&P 500 index edged ahead 3.64 points to 2,503.87, and the Nasdaq composite index was up 6.17 points to 6,454.64.

In currency markets, the Canadian dollar was trading at an average price of US81.71¢, down 0.38 of a U.S. cent.

In commodities, the November crude contract gave back US9¢ at US$50.35 per barrel while the December gold contract fell US$14.40 to US$1,310.80 an ounce.

The December copper contract was up US2¢ to US$2.97 a pound and the October natural gas contract gained US12¢ at US$3.15 per mmBTU.

With files from The Associated Press