Toronto stocks rise as gold miners lead gains

* TSX up 1.4%

* Materials drive gains, up 2.4%

July 10 (Reuters) – Canada’s main stock index rose on
Wednesday, boosted by gold shares, ahead of U.S. economic
reports which could provide further clues on the Federal
Reserve’s monetary policy path.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index
closed up 307.73 points, or 1.4%, at 22,350.23.

Materials led sectoral gains, rising 2.2%. They
tracked spot gold prices which rose on a stronger case
for U.S. interest rate cuts sooner.

South of the border, the S&P 500 crossed 5,600 for
the first time as Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s comments this week
boosted expectations for a rate cut in September.

Powell

said

in his second day of congressional testimony that he was
not ready to conclude that inflation was moving sustainably down
to 2%, although he expressed “some confidence of that.”

“It’s a good balancing act … and that has given some
support to the commodities and also to gold, which continues to
do well, even in the face of stronger US dollar,” said Greg
Taylor, chief investment officer of Purpose Investments.

Taylor said TSX could be set up for a better second half
of the year as tech names drive the US market higher, leaving
room for Canadian stocks to catch up.

Heavyweight energy shares rose 1.2%, while the
financial and consumer discretionary
sectors rose 0.9% and 1.2% respectively.

To evaluate the trajectory of interest rates, markets will
closely watch the U.S. consumer price index due on Thursday and
producer price index data scheduled for Friday.

Separately, hopes of another rate cut from the Bank of
Canada at its July 24 meeting are high, after the last jobs
dataset showed Canadian unemployment at a 29-month high.

“(A) quick rise in unemployment could lead to a negative
impact on the economy and a significant drop off in consumer
spending,” said Graham Priest, investment advisor at BlueShore
Financial.

Among individual stocks, Orla Mining gained 2%
after the miner reported second-quarter operational results.

An 18-day strike at business jet maker Bombardier’s
manufacturing facilities in Mississauga and Waterloo
ended after members ratified a new contract. Its shares were up
7.5%.
(Reporting by Nikhil Sharma in Bengaluru and Nivedita Balu in
Toronto; Editing by Tasim Zahid and Richard Chang)

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