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Jan 21, 2019

TSX extends winning streak to 12th day, longest since 2014

TSX rides 12-day winning streak

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TORONTO -- Canada's main stock index has extended its winning streak to the longest in almost five years despite weekend comments took some of the shine off trade talks between U.S. and China.

The S&P/TSX composite index closed up 50.33 points to 15,354.16, for a 12-day streak that matched one set in February 2014.

The market has gained 1,141.41 points or 8.9 per cent over the period this year, compared to just 719.52 points or 5.3 per cent five years ago.

On Monday, the TSX reached its highest level since early November as it was helped by higher crude oil prices and gains in the influential industrials and materials sectors. Technology and telecommunications fell the most on a quiet day with volume of just 92.6 million shares.

The bigger gainers on the day were Canadian National Railway Co., Suncor Energy Inc., Nutrien Ltd. and Barrick Gold Corp. The losers were led by Imperial Oil, Thomson Reuters Corp. and Sun Life Financial Inc.

Last week's optimism that drove markets higher turned a bit pessimistic Monday after officials from both the U.S. and China suggested little progress is being make on key issues, says Candice Bangsund, portfolio manager for Fiera Capital.

"The futures are pointing towards some pessimism here early on in the week and I think a lot of it is that optimism on the trade front from last week now translating into a little bit of doubt, so just really demonstrating the fragile state of the financial markets one day to the next," she said in an interview.

On top of that, the International Monetary Fund reduced its forecast for global economic growth this year to 3.5 per cent and Chinese data suggested economic growth in 2018 was the lowest in about 30 years.

Bangsund said the futures suggest that U.S. markets will open lower Tuesday after being closed Monday in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

"That's likely a result of now a little bit uncertainty on the trade front and likely some of that growth data we received today."

China's 6.6 per cent expansion in 2018 was down from 6.9 per cent, the weakest since 1990.

At first glance that appears worrisome, but it's not surprising since the world's second-largest economy has been transitioning to a more self-sustaining level of growth based on consumer spending from one that expanded by double-digits based on trade and debt-fuelled investment, said Bangsund.

"The important thing is that the economy is not falling off a cliff and we believe that policymakers are ultimately going to be successful in managing a soft landing for the Chinese economy through all of these measures to protect the economy as they undergo this transition."

The Canadian dollar traded at an average of 75.20 cents US compared with an average of 75.41 cents US on Friday.

The March crude contract was up 18 cents US in international trading at US$54.22 per barrel and the February natural gas contract was down 24.7 cents at US$3.23 per mmBTU.

The February gold contract was down US$3.00 at US$1,279.60 an ounce and the March copper contract was down 4.35 cents at US$2.68 a pound.

 

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