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Resilient U.S. stock markets helped boost Canada’s net investment position in the second quarter, according to data from Statistics Canada.

International asset growth surpassed liability growth in the second quarter — assets rose 2.7%, while liabilities were up 0.8% in the quarter. That pushed Canada’s net foreign asset balance up by $241.3 billion to $1.26 trillion, the national statistical agency reported.

“For a third consecutive quarter, the increase was led by significant market price gains on the strength of U.S. equity markets,” StatsCan said. U.S. markets gained 8.3% in the quarter, while Canadian markets were essentially flat.

The market gains were somewhat offset by shifting exchange rates, as the Canadian dollar gained 2.2% against the U.S. dollar in the quarter, it noted.

Additionally, StatsCan reported that Canada’s gross external debt increased by $50.3 billion in the second quarter to $3.65 trillion.

“The growth was largely in short-term instruments, those with an original maturity of less than one year,” it said, noting that the financial sector drove the increase (accounting for $40.1 billion in external debt).

External debt as a percentage of GDP rose to 129.3% in the second quarter, up from 128.4% in the previous quarter, StatsCan said.