TSX moves up as Mideast blast lifts commodities, markets catch up after holiday

TSX moves up as Mideast blast lifts commodities, markets catch up after holiday

TORONTO — The main stock index in Toronto closed higher on Tuesday as commodities rose on fears of potential conflict in the Middle East and Canadian markets caught up with their American peers after Monday’s Civic Holiday break.

A massive explosion rocked Beirut on Tuesday, flattening much of the port, damaging buildings across the capital and sending a giant mushroom cloud into the sky.

Lebanon’s health minister said more than 60 people were killed and more than 3,000 injured in the huge explosion for which no immediate cause was known.

In Toronto, the S&P/TSX composite index closed on Tuesday up 198.83 points at 16,368.03.

“It’s still unclear as to the cause of that explosion but it has really turned around a number of the commodities,” said Mike Archibald, vice-president and portfolio manager with AGF Investments Inc.

He pointed out gold had been trading lower but recovered, with the December gold contract closing ahead by US$34.70 at a record US$2,021.00 an ounce.

Similarly, oil prices were down early on but the September West Texas Intermediate crude contract closed at US$41.70 per barrel, up 69 cents US.

In response to the higher gold price, B2Gold Corp. rose 3.12 per cent to $9.57, Kinross Gold Corp. was up 3.04 per cent to $12.88 and Barrick Gold Corp. jumped 2.58 per cent to $39.71.

Meanwhile, oilsands producer Suncor Energy Inc. rose 1.8 per cent to $21.45 and pipeline company Enbridge Inc. strengthened by 2.52 per cent to $43.95.

“The market is reacting as though it was a planned explosion of some sort and that’s really driving the action in some of the sectors that are winning today,” said Archibald.

“The energy names are having a really strong day here and then the gold names are also continuing to power higher on the back of a rising commodity.”

Six of the Toronto market’s 11 sectors were positive on the day, led by energy, health care and telecommunications.

The biggest losers were industrials and utilities.

Health care bobbed higher after a big selloff in marijuana stocks last Friday, Archibald said, while investors also demonstrated interest in defensive investments in telecommunications and select utilities.

Industrials were driven lower by weakness in Canadian National Railway Co., off $1.02 at $129.82, and Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd., down $6.76 at $361.61.

The two rallied on Friday on unconfirmed reports that a pair of private equity firms were considering buying the Kansas City Southern railroad in the U.S. but drifted lower Tuesday on a lack of news, Archibald said.

Meanwhile, a slump in Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. shares helped bring down the staples sector when it emerged that its bid for Marathon Petroleum Corp.’s gas-station business had lost out to the private equity owner of 7-Eleven.

Couche-Tard’s shares fell 32 cents or 0.69 per cent to $46.23.

The Canadian dollar traded for 74.78 US compared with 74.60 on Friday.

The September copper contract was down 1.75 cents at just over US$2.89 a pound.

Markets were listless south of border as negotiations continued on a new stimulus package to help the economy recover from the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns.

“We haven’t seen any real progress on the file as of yet so I think that’s part of the reason why the U.S. markets are pausing here until we get a little more clarity,” said Archibald.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 164.07 points at 26,828.47.

The S&P 500 index was up 11.90 points at 3,306.51, and the Nasdaq composite was up 38.37 points at a record 10,941.17.

— By Dan Healing in Calgary

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 4, 2020.

Companies in this story: (TSX:ATD.B, TSX:SU, TSX:ENB, TSX:CP, TSX:CNR, TSX:BTO, TSX:K, TSX:ABX)

The Canadian Press

Business

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
City and County of Wetaskiwin reporting active cases

Both the City of Wetaskiwin and County of Wetaskiwin have active cases.

Alberta chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw updates media on the Covid-19 situation in Edmonton on Friday March 20, 2020. nbsp;Alberta is reporting it's highest daily number of COVID-19 cases, with 364 new infections. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta confirmed 323 COVID-19 cases Tuesday

Central zone active cases at 145

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Maskwacis reporting 37 active cases

Numbers current as of Oct. 19

Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the chief medical officer of health, receive flu shot. Photo via Government of Alberta
COVID-19: One more death in central zone

Ponoka County on province’s watchlist

Photo submitted/ Millet In Bloom
Town of Millet declared Best Blooming Community

The Town of Millet is being recognized for their efforts to meet the challenges of 2020.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney arrives for an announcement at a news conference in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020.	Kenney is isolating at home after one of his ministers tested positive for COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Alberta premier isolating after minister tests positive for COVID-19

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is isolating at home

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
British Columbia man dies during ski trip near glacier west of Calgary

Kananaskis Public Safety and Alpine Helicopters responded around 2:30 p.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday, Oct. 19, 2020, following a week-long break for the House of Commons. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
One crisis after another for Trudeau since last federal election one year ago

It has been a year of unprecedented calamity and crisis

Alberta's provincial flag flies on a flag pole in Ottawa, Monday, July 6, 2020. Advisers are reportedly recommending Alberta's kindergarten to Grade 4 arts and social studies curriculum remove all references to residential schools because it's "too sad" for young children. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Advisers suggest Alberta students not learn about residential schools before Grade 4

Documents suggest children younger than Grade 4 are too emotionally vulnerable to learn about residential schools

robbery
UPDATE: Shooting suspect arrested by Wetaskiwin/Camrose RCMP

Rimbey RCMP had responded to a complaint of an armed robbery at the Bluffton City General Store

File photo
RCMP’s response to online discussions about anti-racism demonstrations

Ponoka RCMP Staff Sgt.’s comments misattributed online

Shaelynn Decock and her dog Taco, who has been missing since Aug. 26. Photo Submitted
Sylvan Lake woman looking for closure for her stolen dog

Shaelynn Decock says it has been two months since she last saw her dog Taco

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a news conference Tuesday October 20, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau and his family decide against trick-or-treating this year due to COVID

Adhering to local health authorities, Trudeau urges Canadians to do their part in following those guidelines

Most Read