Canada's main stock index up moderately, loonie slips against U.S. dollar

TORONTO — Major North American stock indices edged forward amid ongoing uncertainty in China-U.S. trade relations.

The S&P/TSX composite index advanced 71.67 points to 16,877.42.

article continues below

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average advanced 6.11 points to 27,680.91 The S&P 500 index moved up 7.85 points to 3,093.03, while the Nasdaq composite rose 40.80 points to 8,475.31.

"It's some dialling back of trade-deal optimism, for sure," said Erik Bregar, head of FX strategy at The Exchange Bank of Canada.

There's been a lot of good news priced into the markets until now, he said, but a negative snap back to reality from U.S. President Donald Trump caused a little bit of profit taking heading into the weekend.

After a Chinese official said Thursday that China and the U.S. agreed to a phased cancellation of their tariff hikes, Trump told reporters Friday that he hasn't "agreed to anything".

There's a lot of potential for downside, said Bregar, as there's no deal and no indication the two sides are close to reaching one.

In currency markets, the Canadian dollar traded at 75.63 cents US, compared with an average of 75.90 cents US on Thursday.

It dropped due in part to a weaker-than-expected jobs report from Statistics Canada Friday which said the economy lost 1,800 jobs in October. The loss comes after 54,000 jobs were gained in September and 81,000 in August.

Economists on average expected the economy to add a total of 15,900 jobs, according to financial markets data firm Refinitiv.

"Whenever you get negative Canadian data it just reinforces the idea that the Bank of Canada is going to be dovish," said Bregar.

It raises the chance of the central bank cutting its interest rates next time it meets this year. The Bank of Canada will make it's next interest rate announcement on Dec. 4.

The December crude contract gained nine cents to US$57.24 per barrel and the December natural gas contract rose about two cents to US$2.79 per mmBTU.

The December gold contract fell US$3.50 to US$1,462.90 an ounce and the December copper contract retreated by 4.6 cents to US$2.68 a pound.

— With files from The Associated Press

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 8, 2019.

Index and currency in this story: (TSX:GSPTSE, TSX:CADUSD, TSX:ENB, TSX:TRP)

© Kamsack Times