BNN Bloomberg's closing bell update: Aug. 14, 2018
TORONTO -- Canada's main stock index closed higher Tuesday on broad gains as investor concerns on Turkey's economic crisis looked to ease.
Markets reacted positively as the country, which has seen its currency plunge on a variety of financial concerns, presented few new developments to create more concern.
"The sharp reaction over the last few days probably got ahead of itself, and the lack of more bad news was enough to ease some of the fears," said Craig Jerusalim, portfolio manager at CIBC Asset Management.
The S&P/TSX composite lost 166.23 points on Friday's and Monday's declines, but regained some of that Tuesday with a 79.92 point climb to close at 16,330.67. The index had an intraday high of 16,341.97 and 187.16 million shares traded hands.
The Turkish currency also climbed after officials from Turkey and the U.S. said the countries are in talks to ease diplomatic tensions, while overall fears of the crisis spreading to other emerging markets has eased, said Jerusalim.
"The lira is clawing back some of its declines from the last few days. Hopefully that means some of the contagion risks have abated, but it's a fluid situation and its very tough to predict."
Global financial concerns have historically helped the gold sector, but it's seen little affection lately with a US$20 plunge Monday that sent stocks in the sector down. The metal regained only a fraction of that loss with a US$1.80 climb Tuesday for the December gold contract to close at US$1,200.70 an ounce.
The drop in the gold price came as investors fled to the U.S. dollar for safety instead, but the lack of support is still surprising, said Jerusalim.
"It's largely U.S. dollar strength, and it's been a little baffling considering all the global risks out there and trade concerns and emerging market concerns."
The gold sector was among the biggest decliners of the day, including a 1.24 per cent drop for Barrick Gold Corp. and a 1.98 per cent decline for Goldcorp Inc.
Base metal miners were also down as copper dropped five cents to close at US$2.68 a pound for the September contract after reports that a strike could be averted at the world's largest copper mine in Chile, and signs of demand slowdown in China.
The cannabis-heavy S&P/TSX capped health-care index, however, had the biggest decline at 4.73 per cent after the Ontario government unveiled new plans for marijuana legalization that will see a delay in retail store sales.
The Progressive Conservatives said recreational sales will be handled online by a government agency starting Oct. 17, while a private retail model will be in place by April 1 next year.
"The move today is clearly the whole sector taking it on the chin due to the Ontario stores being delayed," said Jerusalim.
Canopy Growth Corp. closed down 8.25 per cent and Aphria Inc. was down 9.54 per cent.
Heavy retail ownership of cannabis stocks, and prices not necessarily based on fundamentals, help allow such significant swings, said Jerusalim.
"When you don't have earnings and fundamental reasons supporting the stock, it doesn't take much for stock prices to get whipped around like they're doing."
In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 112.22 points at 25,299.92. The S&P 500 index ended up 18.03 points at 2,839.96, while the Nasdaq composite was up 51.19 points at 7,870.90.
The Canadian dollar averaged 76.41 cents US, up 0.28 of a US cent.
The September crude contract closed down 16 cents at US$67.04 per barrel and the September natural gas contract was down three cents at US$2.96 per mmBTU.