The Toronto stock market closed little changed Tuesday with traders inclined to do little while hoping that the U.S. presidential election will yield a clear-cut winner.
The S&P/TSX composite index drifted 8.42 points higher to 12,361.2, while the TSX Venture Exchange added 1.21 points to 1,303.14.
"It looks to be too close to call and if it is as tight as it appears to be, then we won't know the answer this evening anyway," said Gavin Graham, president of Graham Investment Strategy.
"So why would you want to be aggressive and take positions because you literally do not know what will come out the other end of it?"
The Cdn dollar ran up US0.50¢ to US100.83¢ as the U.S. dollar turned lower.
The tone was far more positive in New York as traders hoped for more political certainty regardless of the winner. Positive housing data and a weaker greenback pushed markets higher as the Dow Jones industrials rose 133.24 points to 13,245.68.
The Nasdaq composite index gained 12.27 points to 3,011.93 while the S&P 500 index was ahead 11.13 points to 1,428.39.
Above all, traders hope that Democrats and Republicans will get down to the business of arriving at a budget agreement that will avert an automatic increase in taxes and spending cuts that could be imposed at the start of 2013.
This so-called fiscal cliff is particularly alarming as economists predict the subsequent shock from the higher taxes and deep automatic cuts in military and domestic spending would send the economy back into recession.
Traders were encouraged by data offering more evidence of a sustainable housing recovery in the U.S.
Real estate data provider CoreLogic says a measure of U.S. home prices jumped 5% in September compared with a year ago, the largest difference since July 2006.
The weaker U.S. dollar also helped drive commodity prices higher and the TSX gold sector was the biggest percentage advancer, up about 1.5% as December bullion climbed $31.80 to US$1,715 an ounce. Iam-gold rose 58¢ to $15.22 while Goldcorp Inc. was up 48¢ to $43.74.
The metals and mining sector was ahead 0.9% as December copper added 4¢ to US$3.51 a pound. Teck Resources advanced 65¢ to $33.53.
Uranium One Inc. shares slipped 5¢ to $1.95 as the miner booked a quarterly loss of $61.6 million, or 6¢ per share, compared to a profit of $45.8 million, or 5¢ per share, a year earlier. The miner booked a $79.1million writedown during the quarter related to the value of its shuttered South Zarechnoye uranium deposit.
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