TORONTO – Canada’s main stock index rose slightly Monday, as gold stocks provided some lift to offset declines in the energy sector.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up by 11.53 points at 14,596.52, while the Canadian dollar saw an uptick of 0.09 of a cent to 76.16 cents US.
Oil prices finished below US$50 a barrel for the first time in a week as the November crude contract lost 41 cents at US$49.94 per barrel.
Canadian markets strategist Craig Fehr said he expects volatility to continue in the oil market as global supply continues to sway back and forth.
“We can see oil prices bounce around the mid US$40 to US$50 range for a while longer,” said Fehr, who works at Edward Jones in St. Louis.
Prices will likely see some stabilization after the 14-member Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries meets officially in November.
Last month, OPEC informally agreed to a preliminary accord to limit oil production as a way to deal with a global supply glut.
In corporate news, telecom giant Rogers Communications unexpectedly announced the departure of its president and chief executive, Guy Laurence. He will be replaced by former Telus CEO Joe Natale after less than three years on the job. Shares in Rogers dipped slightly, down 13 cents, or 0.24 per cent, to $54.21 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
In the U.S., investors also took in the beginning of a heavy corporate earnings week, as the Dow Jones industrial average lost 51.98 points at 18,086.40 and the S&P 500 faded 6.48 points to 2,126.50. The Nasdaq composite dipped 14.34 points to 5,199.82.
About 80 of the companies in the S&P 500 are due to report their quarterly earnings this week from a variety of sectors including retail and banking.
As has become the pattern in recent quarters, financial analysts have forecast earnings to be down overall from a year ago, largely due to the downbeat energy sector.
“Attention is being turned to the corporate earnings landscape,” said Fehr. “It can provide a little bit of optimism. There’s been encouraging signs with the early results from U.S. banks.”
Bank of America said its third-quarter profits rose nearly 6 per cent from a year earlier, helped by strong results in investment banking and trading. The stock gained four cents, or 0.25 per cent, to US$16.05.
In other commodities, the December gold contract added $1.10 to US$1,256.60 an ounce, November natural gas fell four cents to US$3.24 per mmBTU and December copper contracts were unchanged at US$2.11 a pound.
— With files from The Associated Press
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