Trader William McInerney, left, works with specialist Jay Woods on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Monday, March 13. (Richard Drew/AP)
Canada’s main stock index rose on Monday as financial stocks pushed higher ahead of an expected U.S. Federal Reserve rate hike and as some mining stocks gained from higher commodity prices.
Toronto-Dominion Bank was among the most influential gainers, recovering somewhat after a sharp fall on Friday following media reports which said staff had been put under pressure to meet sales targets.
TD rose 1.8 per cent to $67.18 after falling 5.6 per cent on Friday, and most other major banks also gained, helping the financials group add 0.5 per cent overall.
Financial technology company DH Corp also gained, jumping 9 per cent to $25.11, after Vista Equity Partners said it would take the company private in a $4.8-billion deal.
At 11:31 a.m. ET, the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 27.54 points, or 0.18 per cent, at 15,534.22.
Eight of the index’s 10 main groups were in positive territory.
The materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, added 0.5 per cent.
Base metal miners gained with copper and other industrial metal prices as a strike at Peru’s top copper mine added to supply disruptions caused by a month-long stoppage at mines in Chile and Indonesia.
Teck Resources Ltd advanced 2.6 per cent to $27.49 and First Quantum Minerals Ltd added 0.3 per cent to $13.65.
Gold miners were mixed as bullion was caught between political uncertainty in Europe and the prospect of U.S. rate rises later this week.
The energy group was down 0.26 per cent higher as oil hovered around three-month lows.
Oil prices hovered near three-month lows while a key gauge of world stock indexes advanced on Monday as investors braced for a busy week for global markets, including a potential U.S. interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve.
The dollar steadied against a basket of currencies after touching a two-week low.
Friday’s strong U.S. employment report solidified a view among Wall Street’s top banks that the Federal Reserve will boost interest rates when its policy makers meet this week.
“Right now, the markets appears to be in a wait-and-see phase ahead of the Fed decision,” said Andre Bakhos, managing director at Janlyn Capital in Bernardsville, New Jersey.
MSCI’s all-country world stock index rose 0.2 percent.
U.S. stocks were little changed ahead of the expected Fed rate hike later this week.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 34.76 points, or 0.17 per cent, to 20,868.22, the S&P 500 lost 1.7 points, or 0.07 per cent, to 2,370.9 and the Nasdaq Composite added 9.02 points, or 0.15 per cent, to 5,870.74.
Corporate deal-making continued as chips giant Intel said it would acquire driverless technology firm Mobileye for $15.3-billion. Mobileye shares jumped 30 per cent.
In Europe, Amec Foster Wheeler rallied 13 per cent after oil services company Wood Group agreed to buy the company for $2.7-billion.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index gained 0.4 per cent, helped by increases in mining shares.
Aside from the Fed meeting, which starts on Tuesday, the world’s most powerful finance ministers and central bankers convene in the German town of Baden Baden starting on Friday, their first meeting since Donald Trump won the U.S. election.
Oil prices hovered around three-month lows, as rising U.S. inventories and drilling activity offset optimism over OPEC’s efforts to restrict crude output.
U.S. crude fell 0.1 per cent to $48.43 a barrel, and touched its lowest point since Nov 30. Brent crude edged up 0.1 per cent to $51.42 a barrel.
The dollar edged up 0.02 per cent against a basket of key world currencies, recovering after Friday’s bout of profit-taking following the robust U.S. jobs report.
“We remain bullish on the dollar, but as Friday’s events suggested, a lot of good news is already priced into the dollar at current levels,” said Shaun Osborne, chief FX strategist, at Scotiabank in Toronto.
Sterling, which has been one of the worst performers against the dollar over the last two weeks, rose 0.5 per cent after the devolved Scottish government demanded the right to hold a new referendum on independence.
U.S. Treasury yields edged higher in anticipation of Fed rate hike on Wednesday, nervousness that the central bank could indicate a more aggressive pace of future rate hikes, and new corporate bond supply.
Prices for benchmark 10-year Treasuries slipped 2/32 to yield 2.589 per cent, from a yield of 2.582 per cent late on Friday.
Spot gold edged up 0.02 per cent, but remained near 1.5-month lows.