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North American stocks close higher, loonie climbs after inflation figures released

TORONTO — Canada's main stock index closed higher Wednesday along with U.S. markets, led by gains in the tech sector. The market gains came as the hit from heightened trade tensions between the U.S.
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TORONTO — Canada's main stock index closed higher Wednesday along with U.S. markets, led by gains in the tech sector.

The market gains came as the hit from heightened trade tensions between the U.S. and China somewhat eased, said Colin Cieszynski, chief market strategist at SIA Wealth Management.

"Overall it seems as though some of the fear that really gripped the market earlier in the week is still kind of falling off."

Markets were riled after the U.S. said Friday it would increase tariffs on a wide range of Chinese goods, with China promising retaliation. The threat of those tariffs coming into place, and the wider impacts of trade tensions, still remain, said Cieszynski.

"I wouldn't say fears are necessarily easing, I would say more that the initial wave of shock has kind of died down. I do think that with good reason, that fears are probably going to be more elevated going forward."

The S&P/TSX composite index ended up 33.61 points 16,318.14, led by a 1.62 per cent gain in the information technology index.

The health care index rose 1.13 per cent, while the financial, telecom and real estate indexes slipped somewhat.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 115.97 points at 25,648.02. The S&P 500 index ended up 16.55 points at 2,850.96, while the Nasdaq composite was up 87.65 points at 7,822.15.

The Canadian dollar averaged 74.34 cents US, compared with an average of 74.24 cents US on Tuesday, after Statistics Canada said the consumer price index posted a year-over-year increase of two per cent last month.

The latest report, in line with the Bank of Canada's two per cent inflation target, means no big changes are likely for its trend-setting interest rate, said Cieszynski.

"When I look at the inflation numbers, and then I look at last week's Canadian jobs report, it says to me that probably it just all adds up to keeping the Bank of Canada sitting in neutral for quite a long time to come."

The June crude contract closed up 24 cents at US$62.02 per barrel and the June natural gas contract was down six cents at US$2.60 per mmBTU.

The June gold contract was up US$1.50 at US$1,297.80 an ounce and the July copper contract was up two cents at US$2.74 a pound.

 

Companies in this story: (TSX:GSPTSE, TSX:CADUSD=X)

 

The Canadian Press




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