Toronto index set for best monthly gain in five
On Thursday, Canada’s commodity-heavy main stock index set a new high and was on track for its best monthly performance in five years, as gold prices rose, lifting precious metal miners.
The S&P/TSX composite index of the Toronto Stock Exchange was up 78.12 points, or 0.35 % , at 22,154.08.
The materials sector, which includes precious and base metals miners as well as fertilizer firms, gained 0.8 % as gold futures rose 0.2 % to $1,937.1 per ounce.
The renewed interest in safe-haven gold came after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said the country was bracing for new Russian attacks and that a quick resolution to the conflict was unlikely. However, on April 1, both countries will resume their peace talks online.
“With it being the last day of the month and the last day of the quarter, equities in general have been relatively quiet around the world,” said Colin Cieszynski, chief market strategist at SIA Wealth Management.
Despite recent market gyrations caused by the Ukraine war and unruly inflation, the TSX was poised to post its largest monthly gain since October due to surging commodity prices.
The index was also on track for a second quarter of gains, outperforming US stocks, which were on track for their worst quarter since the pandemic crash in 2020.
“It is not unusual in this type of environment where commodity prices are higher and equities are lower,” Cieszynski said of the TSX’s outperformance.
On Thursday, the healthcare sector fell more than 1% due to weakness in marijuana stocks such as Tilray Inc (TLRY), Canopy Growth (WEED), and Aurora Cannabis (ACB).
Despite a drop in oil prices, the energy sector (.SPTTEN) edged higher, bringing its month-to-date gains to 7.5 % .
On the economic front, data show that the Canadian economy expanded for the ninth consecutive month in February, following a January gain that was expected.
US March Challenger layoffs 21.39k vs 15.25k prior
US-based employers announced 21,387 job cuts in March and that is up 40.3% from February. In Q1, employers announced 55,696 cuts, down 62% from the 144,686 cuts announced through the same period in 2021. It is the lowest quarterly total since the third quarter of 2021, when 52,560 cuts were recorded
Markets News :
- JPY leads, NZD lags on the day
- European equities lower; S&P 500 futures down 0.1%
- Gold up 0.34% to $1,939
- WTI down 5% to $102.13
- Bitcoin down 0.7% to $46,690