Oil and gas company stocks helped drive Canada’s main stock index higher as waning fears that a trade war would break out helped power Wall Street higher.
The S&P/TSX composite index climbed 156.69 points to 15,541.28. Among the biggest gainers in the energy sector were Crew Energy Inc. and Baytex Energy Corp., which were up by 17.3% and 10.2%, respectively, at the closing of markets on Monday.
The health-care sector, which includes the volatile marijuana stocks, also played a significant role in the TSX’s broad-based advance, jumping by almost 6%. Among individual companies, cannabis producer Canopy Growth Corp. was up by 11.7%.
South of the border, U.S. stocks surged as House Speaker Paul Ryan criticized tariffs of 25% on imported steel and 10% on aluminum proposed by President Donald Trump last week, urging him not to go through with them.
Investors are hoping the White House won’t follow through on the tariffs, which have sparked fears of escalating retaliation between countries that could stymie a global economy growing in sync.
In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 336.70 points to 24,874.76. The S&P 500 composite index was up 29.69 points to 2,720.94 and the Nasdaq composite index was up 72.83 points to 7,330.70.
“Today gave investors a little bit of relief after the market jitters from last week,” said Steve Belisle, a senior portfolio manager of equities with Manulife Asset Management Ltd.
Also weighing on investors in recent weeks has been how quickly interest rates will rise. Stocks began to fall in early February after U.S. jobs data showed wages growing more than anticipated, raising worries that creeping signs of higher inflation might push the U.S. Federal Reserve Board to increase interest rates more quickly. That has investors keyed in for Friday, when the latest U.S. jobs report will arrive from the government.
In currency markets, the Canadian dollar closed at an average trading value of US77.06¢, down 0.51 of a U.S. cent.
On the commodities front, the April crude contract was up by US$1.32 to US$62.57 a barrel and the April natural gas contract was up by US1¢ at US$2.70 per mmBTU.
The April gold contract was down by US$3.50 to US$1,319.90 an ounce and the May copper contract was unchanged at US$3.13 a pound.