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Commodities propel S&P/TSX composite to best day in two months, U.S. markets also up


TORONTO — Commodities propelled Canada's main stock index to its best day in two months, while the Federal Reserve signalled that interest rates will increase earlier than expected as the economic recovery continues.

The S&P/TSX composite index closed up 157.20 points to 20,401.49, after reaching an intraday high of 20,479.70.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 338.48 points at 34,258.32. The S&P 500 index was up 41.45 points at 4,395.64, while the Nasdaq composite was up 150.45 points at 14,896.85. 

The day started strongly after contagion fears from the potential insolvency of Chinese property developers eased as China’s central bank injected cash into the banking system and heavily indebted Evergrande reached a deal with bondholders.

"Some people in the market are looking for reason to buy because we were down four, almost five per cent from the peak on the month," said Michael Currie, vice-president and investment adviser at TD Wealth.

Markets rose after the U.S. central bank said "moderation in the pace of asset purchases may soon be warranted” but failed to give a schedule. 

It also projected interest rates would rise from near zero beginning late next year, three more times in 2023 and three times in 2024.

"We knew they were coming, it's just that it's a little bit earlier than expected," Currie said in an interview.

The initial market reaction subsided later in the session.

Nine of the 11 major sectors on the TSX rose with consumer staples and telecommunications marginally lower..

Energy led, gaining 3.9 per cent as crude oil prices rose on U.S. inventories tightening to the lowest level in three years following two hurricanes.

The November crude contract was up US$1.74 at US$72.23 per barrel and the October natural gas contract was unchanged at US$4.81 per mmBTU. 

Cenovus Energy Inc. gained 7.4 per cent, while shares of Vermilion Energy Inc. were up 6.4 per cent.

The Canadian dollar traded for 78.39 cents US compared with 78.12 cents US on Tuesday. 

Materials was pushed higher by First Quantum Minerals Ltd. rising 7.5 per cent and Teck Resources Ltd. increasing six per cent.

The December gold contract was up 60 cents at US$1,778.80 an ounce and the December copper contract was up 12.6 cents at US$4.25 a pound. 

Health care was up two per cent with cannabis producers Canopy Growth Inc. and Tilray Inc. up 4.5 and 3.5 per cent, respectively.

Auto parts manufacturers Magna International Inc. and Linamar Corp. gained 4.1 and 2.5 per cent, respectively, helping the consumer discretionary sector to increase 1.4 per cent.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 22, 2021. 


Ross Marowits, The Canadian Press