Energy sector helps boost stocks in Toronto, U.S. stock markets edge higher

TORONTO — The energy sector led Canada's main stock index as it closed higher along with U.S. markets in a day that saw a lull in trade-war news.

Markets rose more out of the absence of news than any clear positive push, said Candice Bangsund, portfolio manager for Fiera Capital.

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"Nothing really in the way of a catalyst, but it may just be a case of no news being good news, particularly on the equity front."

The relatively quieter day, which still saw a major move on the Brexit front, is in contrast to major escalations in the trade dispute between China and the U.S. recently, said Bangsund.

"Every day for the last week or so we've been getting some sort of trade-related headline, whether it was China's retaliatory tariffs Friday morning followed by Trump's retaliation thereafter. It's been fairly eventful, and of course that weighs on sentiments.

The S&P/TSX composite index closed up 88.06 points at 16,271.65.

The energy sector led gains with a 3.09 per cent climb in the S&P/TSX energy index. The sector was up as U.S. oil inventories dropped significantly more than expected, said Bangsund.

Most sectors saw gains, with the exception of information technology, which was down 1.1 per cent.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 258.20 points at 26,036.10. The S&P 500 index was up 18.78 points at 2,887.94, while the Nasdaq composite was up 29.94 points at 7,856.88.

The Canadian dollar averaged 75.18 cents US, down from an average of 75.37 cents US on Tuesday.

The downward pressure on the loonie came in part after the U.S. dollar rose, as investors sold off the British pound after Prime Minister Boris Johnson asked Queen Elizabeth II to suspend Parliament. The move would hamper lawmakers' efforts to quash a no-deal Brexit at the end of October.

The October crude contract closed up 85 cents at US$55.78 per barrel and the October natural gas contract was up three cents at US$2.22 per mmBTU.

The December gold contract was down US$2.70 at US$1,549.10 an ounce and the December copper contract was up 1.2 cents at US$2.57 a pound.

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

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