TSX posts two-week high as commodity prices rise

Fri Jan 20, 2017 7:27pm EST
 
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By Fergal Smith

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's benchmark stock index rose to a two-week high on Friday, led by financial and resource stocks as commodity prices rose, with investors brushing off a more uncertain outlook for NAFTA after the inauguration of Donald Trump as U.S. president.

A White House statement issued soon after the inauguration said Trump was committed to renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement, under which Canada sends more than 75 percent of its exports to the United States.

Unless there is a "real lockdown" on trade, acceleration in global growth can help stocks grind higher, said Greg Eckel, senior vice president at Morgan Meighen & Associates.

"It hasn't just been the U.S. election (result), things have been on the upswing for some time."

China's economy grew 6.8 percent in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, slightly more than expected, while investors are betting that Trump's plans to cut taxes, spend on infrastructure and deregulate banks will boost U.S. growth.

Cyclical stocks that tend to benefit from a pickup in growth made gains.

Financials rose nearly 1 percent, industrials advanced 0.7 percent and the materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies climbed 1.6 percent.

Toronto-Dominion Bank TD.TO advanced 1.3 percent to C$67.45, Canadian National Railway Co CNR.TO rose nearly 2 percent to C$93.45 and Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc POT.TO jumped 4.8 percent to C$25.23.   Continued...

 
A man walks past an old Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) sign in Toronto, June 23, 2014. REUTERS/Mark Blinch