North American markets up in broad advance, as price of oil rallies nearly US$1
Toronto – Canada’s main stock index moved up modestly Friday, as U.S. stocks set more records in quiet post-U.S. Thanksgiving holiday trading.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index gained 33.79 points to 16,108.09, in a broad-based advance.
South of the border, the Dow Jones industrial average finished slightly below its record high from Tuesday, adding 31.81 points to 23,557.99.
But the other major Wall Street indices closed at all-time highs: The S&P 500 index added 5.34 points to 2,602.42 and the Nasdaq composite index rose 21.80 points to 6,889.16.
“It’s been a really flat day, a flat day for the major North American stock markets. It’s a thin day of trading,” said Todd Mattina, a chief economist at Mackenzie Investments. “It’s to be expected on a Friday following the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday.”
In commodities news, the price of oil continued its bullish pace this week, as the January crude contract climbed 93 cents to US$58.95 per barrel.
Mattina pointed to news reports that key OPEC and non-OPEC members might extend their cuts in production as a major driver behind the recent surge in the commodity’s price.
Saudi Arabia, the biggest oil exporter in the world, wants the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries cartel to extend this year’s cut in oil production for another nine months. The 14 nation-members of OPEC, as well as other major oil producers including Russia, will meet in Vienna next week to discuss their goals.
“The rise in the price of oil has also helped give the Canadian dollar a slight lift,” Mattina noted.
The Canadian dollar was trading at an average price of 78.69 cents US, up 0.04 of a U.S. cent.
Elsewhere in commodities, the January natural gas contract fell 14 cents to US$2.92 per mmBTU. The December gold contract was down US$4.90 to US$1,287.30 an ounce and the December copper contract was up three cents at US$3.17 a pound