March 24, 2020 / 5:40 PM / 5 months ago

WRAPUP 2-Canada's TSX notches record gain as stimulus hopes climb

 (Adds details on market activity; updates prices)
    By Fergal Smith
    TORONTO, March 24 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock market
churned out a record gain on Tuesday as hopes rose that global
stimulus measures will ease the economic impact of the
coronavirus pandemic, with the index rebounding from an
eight-year low the previous day.
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
          closed up nearly 12% at 12,571.08, its biggest gain
going back to July 1979, based on Refinitiv Eikon data.
    On Monday, the TSX hit its lowest intraday level since
October 2011 at 11,172.73. Since peaking in February, the index
has tumbled 30%.
    "I understand why clients and investors want to liquidate
the portfolio... because the speed and velocity of the moves are
frightening," said Barry Schwartz, a portfolio manager at Baskin
Financial Services. "At the end of the day though, I am quite
certain we will recover probably all of this within a year."    
    Stocks on Wall Street also posted strong gains on Tuesday as
 Democrats and Republicans said they were close to a deal on a
$2 trillion stimulus bill aimed at providing financial aid to
Americans out of work and help for distressed industries.
    Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he wanted
flexibility to enact future spending measures as the House of
Commons convened to pass a C$27 billion emergency cash injection
to soften the financial blow of the coronavirus outbreak.
    The heavily weighted financial services sector          
rose more than 13%, while the materials group            was up
12.5%. It was led by a gain of nearly 42% for base and precious
metals producer First Quantum Minerals Ltd        .
    The price of gold        soared $74 to about $1,626 an
ounce, while the price of oil, one of Canada's major exports,
settled 2.8% higher.             
    Oil has been pressured in recent weeks by the sharply lower
demand due to the virus and a price war between producers Russia
and Saudi Arabia. 
    Suncor Energy Inc         cut its 2020 production outlook
and suspended share repurchases for the year following the
decline in crude oil prices and because of the economic impact
of the virus outbreak. Still, its shares rallied 13%.
    The Canadian dollar          strengthened 0.1% to 1.4492 per
U.S. dollar, or 69.00 U.S. cents. The currency, which last
Thursday hit a four-year low at 1.4669, traded in a range of
1.4375 to 1.4532.        
    Canadian government bond yields rose across the curve in
sympathy with U.S. Treasuries. The 10-year             was up 5
basis points at 0.868%.

 (Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by Jonathan Oatis,
Bernadette Baum and Dan Grebler)
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