North American markets nudged higher Wednesday as the U.S. Federal Reserve’s latest meeting minutes signalled a December rate hike is still on track.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 30.04 points to 15,800.40.
In New York, it was another record-setting day on Wall Street, despite meagre market movements.
The Dow Jones industrial average added 42.21 points at 22,872.89, the S&P 500 index inched up 4.60 points at 2,555.24 and the Nasdaq composite index gained 16.30 points to 6,603.55.
Wednesday’s release of the Fed’s September meeting minutes showed that although officials struggled to come to term with persistently low inflation, some were worried that low unemployment could result in a quick rebound in inflation, and a third rate hike was needed. The central banking system previously raised rates in June and March.
Still, this release signalled nothing new in terms of market expectations, said Macan Nia, a senior investment strategist at Manulife Investments.
“The Fed minutes alluded to the likelihood of an increase in December by 25 basis points, that we believe has already been priced into the market,” he said.
Nia added market participants were also watching Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump closely, but there were little signals from their press conference on Wednesday.
“We’re all very interested to see the outcome in terms of the NAFTA negotiation,” he said. “We’re all sitting back and waiting to see more concrete details in terms of proposals.”
Meanwhile in corporate news, shares of licensed marijuana producer Canopy Growth Corp. rose 5.92% Wednesday, on news of a tie-up with a B.C. greenhouse operator which would more than double its production footprint to about 2.3 million square feet.
In commodities, the November crude contract added US38¢ to US$51.30 per barrel and the November natural gas contract was unchanged at US$2.89 per mmBTU.
The December gold contract was down US$4.90 to US$1,288.90 an ounce and the December copper contract was up US4¢ to US$3.10 a pound.
The Canadian dollar was trading at an average price of 80.01¢, up 0.02 of a cent.