North American stock markets climbed Tuesday, with Toronto’s main index surging more than 100 points and Wall Street hitting record highs, as the loonie weakened against the greenback.
The S&P/TSX composite index advanced 103.11 points to 15,143.41, led by broad-based gains in most sectors including energy and gold.
In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 61.49 points to 22,118.86. The S&P 500 index edged up 8.37 points to 2,496.48 and the Nasdaq composite index gained 22.02 points to 6,454.28.
Upward momentum in the markets continued where Monday left off, after hurricane Irma weakened without doing as much damage as predicted and tensions between the U.S. and North Korea didn’t get any worse following a national holiday there.
“Markets are somewhat relieved,” said Luc de la Durantaye, managing director of asset allocation and currency management at CIBC Asset Management.
Promising jobs data south of the border also likely improved investor sentiment, added de la Durantaye.
Job openings posted by U.S. employers rose 0.9% to 6.2 million in July, the Labor Department said. That’s highest on record dating to 2000.
Hiring also increased and more people quit their jobs, which often means they are leaving for jobs that pay better.
“That demonstrates a strong labour market,” de le Durantaye noted.
In currency markets, the Canadian dollar was trading at an average price of US82.24¢, down 0.21 of a U.S. cent.
It’s the loonie’s first loss in seven sessions after edging above the greenback by 0.02 of a U.S. cent on Monday — and likely a sign that the currency is now losing steam after a huge surge over the last couple of months.
“It has to,” says de la Durantaye. “The Bank of Canada is already behind in terms of its inflation target, so certainly there’s got to be a slow down in the Canadian dollar momentum.”
In commodities news, the October crude contract added US16¢ to US$48.23 per barrel and the October natural gas contract was up US5¢ to US$3.00 per mmBTU.
The December gold contract was down US$3.00 at US$1,332.70 an ounce and the December copper contract gave back US3¢ to US$3.04 a pound.
With files from The Associated Press