TORONTO – Canada’s main stock index climbed higher Thursday, helped by the energy sector, which benefited from higher oil prices.
The S&P/TSX composite index was up 45.91 points to 15,172.72.
Revised upward global oil demand forecasts by the International Energy Agency helped to push up crude prices, says Kathryn Del Greco, an investment adviser with TD Wealth.
“The market is continuing on the strength of the increase of the IEA on what is expected to be an increase of global demand and tightening in oil production by some of the producers,” said Del Greco.
“We’re still seeing some follow through. Activity in crude is up.”
The October crude contract rose 59 cents at US$49.89 per barrel, a six-week high.
South of the border, stocks ended mixed and relatively flat on Wall Street, but a meagre gain for the Dow Jones industrial average was enough to mark another record.
The Dow closed at 22,203.48, up 45.30 points.
Meanwhile, the S&P 500 index gave back 2.75 points to 2,495.62 and the Nasdaq composite index declined 31.11 points to 6,429.08.
Rising U.S. consumer prices, which expanded 0.4 per cent in August as gas and housing costs grew, likely played a part in the modest movements, said Del Greco.
“The CPI rose slightly more than expected so that increases the likelihood of a rate hike in December,” she said.
The Labor Department reported Thursday that prices are up 1.9 per cent over the last year, which could mean inflation is speeding up. However, it’s not clear how much of the recent increase in gas prices was due to Hurricane Harvey, which deluged the Gulf Coast region in late August and caused many drilling rigs and refineries to shut down.
In currency markets, the Canadian dollar was trading at an average price of 81.98 cents US, down 0.07 of a U.S. cent.
Elsewhere in commodities, the December gold contract climbed $1.30 at US$1,329.30 an ounce.
The October natural gas contract added one cent to US$3.07 per mmBTU and the December copper contract was down two cents to US$2.96 a pound.
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