TORONTO – Canada’s main stock index fell about five percentage points from its Friday high in a widespread rally involving tech as well as cyclical sectors like materials and energy.
The S & P / TSX Composite Index closed up 109.29 points at 17,019.10. The intraday high of 17,048.87 was 1,000 points lower from February’s high.
Overall, the Toronto market closed 2.1% higher in the past five days to reach its third consecutive positive week. It has climbed 9.3% so far in November.
“It’s nice to see the Canadian market pulling more than one cylinder,” said Les Stelmach, portfolio manager at Franklin Templeton Canada.
Technology and defensive sectors such as utilities rallied while cyclical energy and industrials stocks performed well, excluding railways.
In New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 219.75 points to 29,263.48. The S&P 500 Index was down 24.33 points to 3,557.54, while the Nasdaq composite was down 49.74 points to 11,854.97.
U.S. markets fell, shares of Boeing Inc. fell 3.1% and tech leaders like Apple, Facebook and Alphabet fell more than 1%.
The day started with investors concerned about an apparent difference of opinion between Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell over the withdrawal of an emergency loan facility.
It was partially offset by some re-engagement of stimulus talks which helped gold, which rose as a hedge against inflation and also as a safety bet.
Investors continued to worry about rising rates of COVID-19 infection as the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States approaches and growing lockdowns.
Pfizer and BioNTech said they applied to the Food and Drug Administration on Friday for emergency use authorization for their vaccine, which they said was 95% effective in trials.
It came after the World Health Organization dismissed remdesivir, an antiviral drug, as a COVID treatment, saying there was no evidence that it improves survival.
“With maybe no vaccine news it could be negative for the markets, but I think it is overtaken by the vaccine because remdesivir itself is a very expensive treatment,” said Stelmach in an interview.
Technology dominated the TSX, where nine of the top 11 sectors rose. It gained nearly 3 percent as shares of BlackBerry Ltd. rose 7.7 percent.
Materials were second, gaining ground on higher metal prices, which helped First Quantum Minerals Ltd. to increase by 4.5 percent.
The December gold contract rose US $ 10.90 to US $ 1,872.40 per ounce and the December copper contract rose 8.9 cents to US $ 3.29 per pound.
The Canadian dollar traded at 76.51 US cents compared to 76.44 US cents on Thursday.
Energy was also high as crude prices rose for a third consecutive week to reach the highest close since September 1.
The January crude contract rose 52 cents to US $ 42.42 per barrel and the January natural gas contract rose five cents to US $ 2.77 per mmBTU.
Shares of Husky Energy Inc., Whitecap Resources Inc. and Cenovus Energy Inc. rose 2.5%, 2.1% and 2% respectively.
Rising oil prices are a good sign for Canada, Stelmach said.
“Canada has just been a lagging market to the United States, so you’re going to have days here where maybe we play a bit of catching up as well.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published on November 20, 2020.