Toronto stock market edges higher, while New York stock markets fall

TORONTO – The Toronto Stock Exchange made a slight advance, while New York stock markets shed some of their worth following a tumultuous period after the U.S. presidential election.

“It’s a quiet day. Investors are taking a pause today,” said Todd Mattina, chief economist at Mackenzie Investments.

The break in activity comes following a fairly aggressive repricing in global markets after U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s surprise win last week over Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, he said.

“A lot of the post-Trump impact has now been priced in markets,” said Mattina.

The markets are now trying to digest what the long-term impact will be and whether this is the beginning of a new major trend based on Trump’s proposed policies or a one-off repricing, he said.

Stock markets made modest movements in either direction on Friday.

In Toronto, the S&P/TSX composite index gained 37.94 points at 14,864.03.

Meanwhile south of the border, markets registered modest declines. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 35.89 points to 18,867.93, the Nasdaq composite slid 12.46 points to 5,321.51, and the broader S&P 500 shed 5.22 points at 2,181.90.

The price of oil made meagre gains. The December contract rose 27 cents to US$45.69 a barrel. The January contract for crude oil, which traded at a higher volume, gained 38 cents to US$46.36 per barrel.

Oil prices have been unusual following post-election results, said Mattina, noting they haven’t moved as dramatically as other assets.

That’s likely because multiple other factors work to offset the price of oil, he said, including anticipation as to whether OPEC will take any action to curb the supply of oil. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries will meet November 30 in Vienna where they may announce an agreement to cut production.

The price of gold, on the other hand, has plummeted to its lowest level since mid-February.

The December gold contract fell $8.20 to US$1,208.70 per ounce. It last closed below that on Feb. 16 at US$1,208.20.

Rising bond yields and increased expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve will raise rates, potentially at a faster pace than previously anticipated, is putting pressure on gold prices, said Mattina.

On Thursday, Fed chairwoman Janet Yellen hinted at a December interest rate hike when the central bank meets for two days starting Dec. 13.

Elsewhere in commodities, the December contract for natural gas rose 14 cents at US$2.843 per mmBTU and the December copper contract fell 2.35 cents at US$2.4675 per pound.

The Canadian dollar fell 0.04 of a U.S. cent at 74.00 cents US.

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