Canada’s main stock index set a new intraday record Monday and indices south of the border continued their streak as markets were buoyed by increasing investor confidence a U.S. tax bill would soon pass.
The S&P/TSX composite index surged 89.66 points to 16,131.64 after spiking as high as 16,200.81 earlier in the session.
It fell less than five points shy of breaking its all-time high of 16,136.59, reached just last week, on Dec. 13.
In New York, three major indices finished the trading day with a second consecutive day of record highs.
The Dow Jones industrial average gained 140.46 points to 24,792.20 and the S&P 500 index rose 14.35 points to 2,690.16.
The Nasdaq composite index advanced 58.18 points to 6,994.76. It briefly hovered above the 7,000-mark for the first time earlier in the day.
“The real backbone for that, today, is again enthusiasm coming out of the United States that a tax reform bill … looks like it’s going to make it through Congress and potentially get signed by the President later this week,” said Craig Fehr, a Canadian market strategist with Edward Jones in St. Louis.
“(It) offers the hope for improving corporate fundamentals,” he said.
On Bay Street, the biggest gains came from the health care sector, where stocks gained an average of 3.81% of their worth, though that was mostly a one-stock story, said Fehr.
Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. led not only the sector, but also the index. Shares jumped $1.89 or 7.44% to $27.28.
The boost came as the company announced its subsidiary Bausch + Lomb has started to distribute an eye treatment to U.S. wholesale pharmaceutical distributors.
The loonie closed at an average trading price of US77.73¢, down 0.19 of a U.S. cent.
The February crude contract fell US11¢ to US$57.22 per barrel and the January natural gas contract gained about US13¢ to roughly US$2.75 per mmBTU.
The February gold contract advanced US$8.00 to US$1,265.50 an ounce and the March copper contract added about a penny to roughly US$3.15 a pound.