TSX closes at all time high, U.S. markets up after big jump in commodities prices

Canada's main stock exchange closed at an all-time high as commodities like gold and oil benefitted from a weaker U.S. dollar on Thursday.

Mike Archibald, vice-president and portfolio manager with AGF Investments Inc., said strong performances from commodities-based companies in equity markets drove the resource-heavy S&P/TSX composite index up, and also led to the Canadian dollar trading above 80 cents US again.

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"This'll be the sixth straight month of positive gains in Toronto, so the bull market in stocks is continuing here," said Archibald.

"The U.S. dollar is down quite a bit today ... that's got gold, silver, copper, oil all moving higher here today."

The S&P/TSX composite index was up 81.38 points at 20,311.78.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 153.60 points at 35,084.53. The S&P 500 index was up 18.51 points at 4,419.15, while the Nasdaq composite was up 15.68 points at 14,778.26.

The Canadian dollar traded for 80.32 cents US compared with 79.58 cents US on Wednesday.

Those gains were largely due to weakness in the greenback. Archibald said the U.S dollar is lower after a weaker-than-expected American GDP report for the second quarter.

Quarterly earnings reports from dozens of companies in Canada and the U.S. were also a big market driver, with Archibald saying many Canadian companies had positive statements for the quarter.

He said there were strong numbers from Industrial Alliance Financial Group, Cenovus Energy Inc., Kirkland Lake Gold Ltd. and West Fraser Timber Co., which all had their stocks rising at least two per cent.

Archibald pointed out that mining companies posting strong numbers had stock increases today based on both their earnings reports and the rising price off commodities.

The December gold contract was up US$31.20 at US$1,835.90 an ounce and the September copper contract was up nearly 4.2 cents at US$4.52 a pound.

The September crude oil contract was up US$1.23 at US$73.62 per barrel and the September natural gas contract was up 9.2 cents at nearly US$4.06 per mmBTU.

Meanwhile, the TSX’s healthcare index dropped slightly after major gains on Wednesday from marijuana companies that reported their earnings that day. Companies like Tilray Inc. saw their stock rise by over 25 per cent Wednesday, but that company dipped by 4.34 per cent today.

The healthcare index was down two per cent after rising nearly 10 per cent Wednesday.

Archibald said the cannabis sector continues to be a tricky place to invest.

"The marijuana companies have had a difficult time meeting predictions that they've provided," he said, saying that the pull back may be based on investors wondering whether companies will actually meet lofty projections.

"The rollout across Canada has been a lot slower than many had projected if you go back and look over time."

Meanwhile, Archibald said investors will be looking out for reports from Enbridge Inc. and Restaurant Brands International Inc. tomorrow for their second quarter earnings in particular.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 29, 2021.

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

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