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Jul 25, 2018

TSX closes up on industrials strength; loonie up

BNN Bloomberg's closing bell update: July 25, 2018


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TORONTO -- Canada's main stock index ended higher as gains in industrials outweighed declines from auto parts companies, while U.S. markets gained on strength in the technology sector.

The S&P/TSX Capped consumer discretionary index was down 0.65 per cent as auto parts companies including Magna International (MG.TO), Linamar Corp (LNR.TO), and Martinrea International (MRE.TO) slid on tariff concerns, said Michael Currie, an investment advisor at TD Wealth.

"Consumer discretionary, which is really in today's case talking about the auto stocks, the Magnas, Martinreas, Linamars, all getting beat up pretty good on the nervousness on NAFTA and the tariffs, especially with Trump talking about the auto tariffs."

The slide in the auto sector was countered by strong quarterly earnings results on the industrials side including rail and equipment companies.

"On the flip side we have industrials with really good numbers, we have Toromont hitting a record high, CN Rail (CNR.TO), by far the biggest one hitting a record high, CP's up strong," said Currie.

Toromont (TIH.TO), which runs a large network of Caterpillar dealerships among other equipment businesses, closed up $8.45 or 14.65 per cent at $66.14. CN Rail, which increased its annual earnings expectations and its spending plans, closed up $4.74 or 4.23 per cent at $116.74.

Gains from the companies helped the S&P/TSX capped industrials index closed up 2.14 per cent on the day, while the energy sector also rose as crude prices climbed.

Overall, the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index closed up 30.63 points at 16,420.76 as strong earnings were somewhat tempered by trade fears, said Currie.

"The overall theme is we're getting pretty good numbers out of the companies, but a note of caution just because of the tariffs and trade skirmish."

Trade concerns featured prominently as European Union officials were meeting with U.S. counterparts Wednesday.

U.S President Donald Trump said after market close that the two sides had agreed to work towards "zero tariffs" and "zero subsidies" on non-automobile goods.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 172.16 points 25,414.10. The S&P 500 index was up 25.67 points at 2,846.07 and the Nasdaq composite index was up 91.47 points at 7,932.24, a record close.

The Canadian dollar averaged 76.41 cents US, up 0.40 of a US cent.

The September crude contract closed up 78 cents at US$69.30 per barrel and the September natural gas contract was up four cents at US$2.76 per mmBTU.

The August gold contract ended up $6.30 at US$1,231.80 an ounce and the September copper contract was up a penny at US$2.82 a pound.

Aimia Inc. (AIM.TO), the company behind the Aeroplan loyalty program, closed up 89 cents or 35.60 per cent at $3.39 after an Air Canada (AC.TO)-led consortium proposed a $2.25-billion deal to buy the loyalty business.

The consortium, which also includes Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO), Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO) and Visa Canada, have offered $250 million in cash, including points liabilities they would assume.


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