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Toronto stocks set for weekly gain on tech, energy boost

News Team

Canada’s main stock index was little changed on Friday, with gains in technology shares offset by losses in utilities, while investors looked ahead to the U.S. Federal Reserve’s meeting next week for cues on the interest rate trajectory.

At 10:15 a.m. ET (15:15 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 4.99 points, or 0.02%, at 21,106.53. The benchmark index is on track to log weekly gains.

The energy sector climbed 0.1% and was set to outperform peers in the first week of gains since Jan. 5, despite a decline in oil prices on Friday. If gains hold, energy shares would have their best week since mid-October.

Technology stocks led the gains among sectors, rising by 0.6% and poised to extend their upward trend into a third week.

“The Canadian market is looking positive today despite falling oil prices. This is because more cyclical areas like mining are benefiting from China’s easing financial conditions this week”, said Denis Taillefer, senior portfolio manager at Caldwell Investment Management.

Material sector which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, was flat on the day. The index was set for over 1% advance for the week.

Canada stocks started the year on a tepid note on uncertainty around the timing of the interest rate cuts by major central banks. However, Bank of Canada, in its recent policy review, comforted investors with indications that the governing council is now discussing about when to start monetary easing.

TSX hit its highest closing level since May 2022 on Thursday boosted by energy shares and positive sentiment after strong U.S. economic growth.

Investors now looked forward to next week’s Federal Open Market Committee meeting for more clues on the interest rate trajectory after an in-line December inflation print in the U.S., signaling continued moderation in price pressures.

“Combined with the tight labour market and much stronger GDP print this week, we don’t think there are any justifications for a March rate cut by the Fed”, Taillefer added.

Source: https://ca.news.yahoo.com/tsx-futures-edge-higher-gold-124139938.html