BNN Bloomberg's mid-morning market update: Sept. 21, 2021
Canadian stocks climbed along with the country’s currency after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau won a historic third term in a federal election that did little to reorder the political balance of the country.
Canada’s benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index was up 0.7 per cent at 9:58 a.m. in Toronto, in line with gains in other equity markets, while the Canadian currency strengthened against the U.S. dollar.
“The status quo is exactly what markets like, especially stocks,” Kristina Hooper, chief global market strategist at Invesco, said Tuesday in a phone interview. “So while Trudeau didn’t get what he had hoped for in calling the snap election, that means really no disruption as it relates to markets.”
Trudeau’s Liberal Party was elected or leading in 158 of the 338 seats in Canada’s House of Commons, with 99 per cent of the polls reporting. That’s one more seat than he won in the last vote in 2019. The main opposition Conservatives, under Erin O’Toole, won 119 seats, two fewer than last time. The Bloc Quebecois won 34 seats and the New Democratic Party had 25 seats. The result leaves parliament little changed from how it looked before Trudeau called the vote.
“Similar to 2019, the Liberals should not have much problem passing major spending legislation and get timely support from opposition parties,” said Dominique Lapointe, an economist at Laurentian Bank of Canada. “The fact that the final elections results should be very similar to 2019 makes it more likely that Mr. Trudeau will lean more, at first, on NDP and Bloc ideas in order to gather more consensus on its COVID-19 agenda.”
The loonie, as it is dubbed because of the bird that graces Canada’s coinage, rose 0.2 per cent to 78.17 cents to outperform all other Group of 10 currencies except Norway’s krone and Swiss francs, Bloomberg data show. The Canadian dollar had been mostly weakening in recent weeks because of the uncertainty around the Sept. 20 election.
“The election appeared to be holding the loonie back by at least one cent,” said Warren Lovely, chief rates and public sector strategist at National Bank of Canada, noting that the currency got a lift from the results. “It’s time to put this unnecessary election behind us.”
Meanwhile, Canadian bond yields were little changed following the election outcome, with Canada’s two-year government bond yield at 0.442 per cent on Tuesday.
“Markets couldn’t care less about the election,” Bank of Nova Scotia economist Derek Holt said. “That’s just as it should be with a status quo outcome that changes nothing.”