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Toronto Stock Exchange | S&P/TSX up slightly on eve of inflation data



(Toronto) The Toronto Stock Exchange closed slightly higher on Monday, with gains in most of its sectors allowing it to stay in positive territory despite the weak volume of activity.

The Toronto floor’s S&P/TSX Composite Index climbed 30.23 points to end the session with 20,390.33 points.

U.S. markets were closed for the Martin Luther King Jr. day off, which slowed activity on the TSX, noted John Zechner, president and manager at J Zechner Associates. But there is a lot of news to come this week and next, he pointed out.

“We are reaching the heart of earnings season,” at least in the United States, he said, with the big tech players releasing their financial reports next week.

Investors will not only be looking for numbers from the most recent quarter, but also companies’ outlook for the year ahead, Zechner said.

Meanwhile, Canada is due to release inflation data for December on Tuesday, after the United States released its own figures last week showing a slight cooling that was welcomed by investors. Later in the week, the United States and Canada will both see new retail sales data, which will give a better idea of ​​how consumers are faring.

So far, economic data released this year has shown a surprisingly positive outlook, Zechner noted.

Given the pace and magnitude of interest rate hikes in 2022, “we should be impressed with the resilience of the economic data so far,” he said.

Inflation has slowed, which probably contributed to the small market recovery observed at the start of the year. According to Mr. Zechner, it seems that investors are a little more optimistic than the messages from the central bank have been: “the market is not really buying what the Fed is selling. »

Two Bank of Canada surveys of business outlook and consumer expectations, released on Monday, showed that businesses expected to face some challenges as consumers cut back on spending in 2023.

Most businesses and consumers expect a recession in the next 12 months, according to these surveys. However, most do not think it will be large, as many economists in Canada expect, given the current strength in the labor market.

In the currency market, the Canadian dollar traded at an average rate of 74.64 cents US, up from 74.59 cents US on Friday.

Crude oil rose US$1.47 to US$79.86 a barrel, while natural gas returned 28 cents US to US$3.42 per million BTU.

The price of gold climbed US$22.90 to US$1921.70 an ounce and that of copper rose 2 cents US to US$4.22 a pound.

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