TSX hits record, Wall Street surges on Trump news


TORONTO – The Toronto Stock Exchange’s main index and Wall Street indices all soared to record highs Friday, bolstered by news that U.S. President Donald Trump will soon reveal his tax policy.

On Bay Street, the S&P/TSX composite index advanced 111.82 points to 15,729.12, shattering a previous record close of 15,657.63 set on Sept. 3, 2014.

The index also set a new intraday record high, reaching 15,736.64 points earlier in the day. That surpassed the old intraday record of 15,685.13, also set on Sept. 3, 2014.

The growth was fuelled by the three largest sectors of the market — materials, financials and energy, said Allan Small, a senior adviser at Holliswealth.

“You have all those three higher. Usually, it’s a recipe for success at the Toronto stock market.”

Energy stocks, which gained nearly one per cent in worth on average, were buoyed by rising oil prices and reports that OPEC members have been about 90 per cent compliant with their commitments to cut crude production thus far, Small said.

The March crude contract rose 86 cents to US$53.86 per barrel.

Meanwhile, a long-awaited promise from Trump on Thursday that he’ll be revealing the business-friendly tax plan the markets have been waiting spurred on the financials sector where stocks rose on average by nearly 0.5 per cent.

In the materials sector, stocks managed to gain on average nearly 1.5 per cent in worth. The gain occurred despite falling gold prices as copper saw a major bump amid a strike at a Chilean mine, said Michael Currie, vice-president and senior investment adviser with TD Wealth.

The April gold contract shed 90 cents to US$1,235.90 an ounce, while March copper contracts rose about 11.5 cents to around US$2.77 a pound.

A Statistics Canada report released earlier in the day showing Canada’s labour market continues to add new jobs helped strengthen the market’s momentum, said Currie. Last month, the job market unexpectedly added 48,300 net new positions, mostly in part-time work, according to the report.

South of the border, Wall Street renewed its so-called Trump bump for another day on the teased tax policy announcement.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 96.97 points to 20,269.37 and the S&P 500 advanced 8.23 points to 2,316.10 for a second straight record-setting day. The Nasdaq composite index meanwhile rose 18.95 points to 5,734.13 for its fourth consecutive day of all-time highs.

While Trump’s announcement is expected in two to three weeks, it’s unlikely the markets will experience a significant decline of five to 10 per cent any time soon, said Currie.

“Historically, when markets do hit new record highs, they tend to hit more new record highs,” he said, adding while markets are currently high, they’re not on the extreme end.

“It’s a sign of better things to come.”

Meanwhile, the loonie rose 0.32 of a U.S. cent to 76.42 cents US and elsewhere in commodities, March natural gas fell 10.7 cents to about US$3.03 per mmBTU.


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