TSX hits record high close despite flat day across North American stock markets

TORONTO — Canada's main stock index reached a record high close Tuesday even as North American stock markets were relatively flat amid a lack of news on trade talks between the world's largest economies.

The S&P/TSX composite index closed up 26.55 points at 16,909.38, beating the high set in late September and ending the day less than 50 points from setting an all-time intraday high.

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In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was unchanged at 27,691.49. The S&P 500 index was up 4.83 points at 3,091.84, while the Nasdaq composite was up 21.81 points at 8,486.09, also a record close.

The day started with investors taking a little more risk but pulled back a bit after U.S. President Donald Trump failed to deliver on expectations for an update on trade talks with China during a speech to the Economic Club of New York.

"We didn't really get that or anything other than Fed bashing and the touting of negative interest rates," said Natalie Taylor, a portfolio manager with CIBC.

"So I think that was a bit of a disappointment. The markets kind of softened a little bit as a result of that."

Materials was the biggest gainer on the TSX as miners including Kinross Gold Corp. were helped by a rise in gold prices.

The December gold contract was down US$3.40 at US$1,453.70 an ounce and the December copper contract was down 1.85 cents at US$2.65 a pound.

The Canadian dollar traded for 75.60 cents US compared with an average of 75.63 cents US on Friday. The Bank of Canada was closed Monday for Remembrance Day.

The energy and health care sectors each fell by nearly one per cent with Imperial Oil losing 3.3 per cent. The share price fell after outgoing CEO Rich Kruger said the $2.6-billion Aspen oilsands project in northern Alberta it announced a year ago — only to cancel it a few months later — will remain on the sidelines until the province completely ends its oil curtailment program.

The December crude contract was down six cents at US$56.80 per barrel and the December natural gas contract was down 1.6 cents at US$2.62 per mmBTU.

The past two trading days have been flat because in addition to investors looking for more certainty on trade there has been a void of new information or data, said Taylor.

"The markets moved a long way on kind of hope related to trade and I think to sustain this rally we really need to see some specifics being announced here, so I think that will be the focus."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 12, 2019.

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

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