CANADA STOCKS-Toronto stocks climb, boosted by oil and material sectors

(Adds comment, updates prices)

Aug 18 (Reuters) – Canada’s main stock index rose on Thursday, as a rebound in commodity prices aided oil and materials stocks, although worries about aggressive central bank actions to tame inflation weighed on the global sentiment.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index rose 0.19% to 20,219.82 by 9:49 a.m. ET.

Canadian energy stocks gained 1.7% as oil prices rose nearly 2% on robust U.S. fuel consumption data and expected falls in Russian supply later in the year.

Meanwhile, rising gold and metal prices boosted the materials sector, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies.

Wall Street also wavered as U.S. Federal Reserve officials saw “little evidence” late last month that inflation pressures were easing, according to the central bank’s meeting minutes released on Wednesday.

“Though inflation has pulled back and we might be getting close to a peak, it isn’t anywhere close to a level that I think central banks are happy with,” said Greg Taylor, portfolio manager at Purpose Investments.

“Either in the Fed minutes or at the Jackson Hole conference next week, I don’t see a pivot coming. The economic data isn’t really saying that we need to pull things back. And that’s probably bad news for some risk assets in the near term,” he added.

Data on Thursday showed producer prices in Canada fell by 2.1% in July from the previous month on lower prices for energy and petroleum products, as well as primary non-ferrous metal products.

Canadian stocks have rallied over 11% since hitting the year’s lowest level in mid-July on the back of upbeat earnings and signs of cooling inflation in the United States. However, analysts question if the recovery can continue as recession fears persist.

Among single stocks, Air Canada slipped 1% after the airline said it planned to operate flights at 79% of its pre-pandemic capacity this summer.

Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva and Krishna Chandra Eluri

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