Markets up slightly ahead of US GDP data, European central bank meeting

TORONTO — Major North American markets made small gains Monday while awaiting a slew of global news later this week.

The S&P/TSX composite index gained 32.94 points to close at 16,518.88.

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In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average advanced 17.70 points to 27,171.90. The S&P 500 index rose 8.42 points to 2,988.03, while the Nasdaq composite moved up 57.64 points to 8,204.13.

"In advance of what's likely to be a pretty heavy week of economic and policy news, I think today markets are relatively flat," said Craig Fehr, a Canadian investment strategist with Edward Jones.

"We get the trifecta, really, of fundamental drivers of the market this week," he said.

Later this week, the U.S. Department of Commerce will release an advance estimate of the gross domestic product for the second quarter and an annual update.

Fehr said it's likely there will be notably slower growth in the second quarter, and that the figure will have implications for the Federal Reserve's actions going forward.

Additionally, the European Central Bank's governing council is scheduled to have a monetary policy meeting in Frankfurt, said Fehr, and some companies considered to be bellwethers in the technology and industrial sectors are scheduled to report their earnings. That includes Facebook, Alphabet and Amazon.

"I think that those three overarching sets of data provide a lot of information for investors as to what the support looks like for the equity markets as we advance this year," said Fehr.

He noted the world will also likely learn who will be the U.K.'s next prime minister this week, with Boris Johnson the expected victor over his competitor, Jeremy Hunt.

The markets will then dissect what the new prime minister means for the future of Brexit negotiations, he said.

In currencies, the Canadian dollar traded for 76.32 cents US compared with an average of 76.51 cents US on Friday.

The September crude contract gained 46 cents to US$56.22 per barrel and the August natural gas contract rose 6.1 cents to US$2.31 per mmBTU.

The August gold contract advanced 20 cents to US$1,426.90 an ounce and the September copper contract shed three cents to US$2.72 a pound.

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

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