Energy Sector Leads S&P/TSX as Oil Rises, U.S Stock Markets Mixed

Gains in the energy sector, helped by a rise in the price of oil, led Canada’s main stock index higher in late-morning trading while U.S. stock markets were mixed.

The S&P/TSX composite index was up 41.08 points at 20,478.50.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 143.31 points at 35,245.16. The S&P 500 index was up 4.26 points at 4,436.61, while the Nasdaq composite was down 75.93 points at 14,784.25.

The Canadian dollar traded for 79.79 cents US compared with 79.59 cents US on Monday.

The September crude oil contract was up US$2.15 at US$68.63 per barrel and the September natural gas contract was up four cents at US$4.10 per mmBTU.

Oil prices rose after sliding for most of last week and also on Monday. U.S. benchmark crude rose 3.2%, boosting shares for energy companies. Exxon Mobil rose 1.1%.

Bond yields moved higher and boosted bank yields higher. Banks benefit from higher interest rates allowing them to charge more interest on loans. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 1.33% from 1.31% late Monday.

The broader market remains challenging for investors amid a relatively quiet week. The company’s latest earnings round is almost over, and only some economic data is expected.

The lull comes as Wall Street is still trying to gauge the pace of economic growth amid renewed concerns about the latest wave of COVID-19 from the more contagious Delta variant. Areas of Japan, including the capital Tokyo, remain in a state of emergency as the rising number of infections has forced many COVID-19 patients to be hospitalized in already overcrowded hospitals.

Concerns about inflation and the Federal Reserve’s future plans to reduce its support for low-interest rates were also influenced by the markets.

Earnings season is coming along with some big names. AMC Entertainment, which took a hit as movie theatres closed during the pandemic, jumped 6.7% after reporting surprisingly good second-quarter results.

eBay will report the results on Wednesday and Walt Disney will report the results on Thursday.

Kansas City Southern jumped 7.2% after Canadian Pacific made an offer to the rail operator, rekindling a bidding war with Canadian National.

The December gold contract was up US$1.70 at US$1,728.20 an ounce and the September copper contract was up six cents at US$4.35 a pound.


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