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At the open: TSX rises on financials, energy shares Add to ..

June 19, 2017 6:23 PM
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Canada’s main stock index rose on Monday, lifted by shares of financial firms, while energy companies got a lift as oil prices steadied after coming under pressure over the past month.

Shortly after the opening bell, the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 75.41 points, or 0.5 per cent, at 15,267.95.

U.S. stocks opened higher on Monday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average hitting a record high, as investors snapped up beaten down technology stocks.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 69.3 points, or 0.32 per cent, to 21,453.58.

The Nasdaq Composite added 44.71 points, or 0.73 per cent, to 6,196.47.

Leading the rebound, Apple, Microsoft and Alphabet were all up about 1 per cent in early trading.

Retail stocks were battered on Friday after’s $13.7-billion deal to buy upscale grocer Whole Foods .

The deal by Amazon, a proven retail disruptor, marked a major step by the internet retailer into the brick-and-mortar retail sector.

European stocks headed for their biggest rise in two months on Monday as investors snapped up cut-price retail and tech stocks and France’s markets cheered a parliamentary majority for pro-business President Emmanuel Macron.

Risk was back in vogue and the Nasdaq was expected to regain 0.7 percent of the near 3.5 percent it has lost over the last couple of weeks as investors have top-sliced the likes of Apple, Amazon and Alphabet that have been on a tear all year.

Europe’s banks also drove higher following broker upgrades for Credit Suisse, while there was little sign of tension for the sector or for the pound or euro as formal Brexit negotiations kicked off in Brussels.

Projections showing Macron had won a commanding majority in France’s weekend vote saw Paris stocks make a 1.1-per-cent gain as the country’s bonds also outperformed in fixed income markets.

“We expect the Macron reforms to transform France like the Thatcher reforms had cured the erstwhile sick man of Europe, the United Kingdom, some 35 years ago,” said Berenberg European economist Holger Schmieding.

“And like the ‘Agenda 2010’ reforms had turned Germany from one of the weakest into one of the strongest economies in Europe almost 15 years ago.”

Asia had kicked off the week strongly as well with a two-week closing high for Japan’s Nikkei.

There were 1-1.2 percent jumps in China and Hong Kong too ahead of MSCI’s annual review on Tuesday which expected to see it add mainland-listed Chinese stocks to its top share benchmarks for the first time.

Chinese data had also helped, with signs of easier liquidity conditions and home prices up 10.4 percent in May from a year ago, although slowing from April’s 10.7-per-cent gain.

“A-shares could be included though at fairly limited weight,” Asha Mehta, a portfolio manager at Acadian Asset Management, said of the MSCI review, which will be announced at around 2130 GMT.

“MSCI has expressed that while liquidity and now access is there, some regulatory requirements are not ideal for index inclusion.”

Emerging markets went sailing higher with stocks enjoying their biggest daily gains in nearly four weeks though another day of weaker oil prices took a toll on Russia again, where the rouble was down another half a percent.

Europe’s retailers continued to claw back some ground having been clobbered along with U.S. peers like Wal-Mart and Target on Friday by net-giant Amazon’s $13.7 billion deal to buy upscale grocer Whole Foods Market.

It was Amazon’s first major bricks and mortar acquisition in the sector and spooked traders on worries it could now be going hard after the sector’s traditional.

In the currency markets, the differing messages of the world’s major central banks on inflation and monetary policy prodded the dollar higher against the yen ahead of a series of appearances by U.S. Federal Reserve officials this week.

Fed chief Janet Yellen’s confidence as her team raised interest rates for the third time in six months last week surprised investors who had expected more caution about the economy.

Sterling also nudged higher to just under $1.28 and 87.42 pence per euro as formal negotiations got underway on Britain’s exit from the European Union, which are expected to generate plenty of headlines for the currency in the weeks ahead.

Brexit Secretary David Davis held negotiations in Brussels on Monday, which will be followed by a Brussels summit on Thursday and Friday where Prime Minister Theresa May will meet - but not negotiate with - fellow European Union leaders.

Mr. Davis’s agreement to Monday’s agenda led some EU officials to believe that May’s government may at last be coming around to Brussels’ view of how negotiations should be run. May’s own political survival is in doubt after she lost her parliamentary majority in an election this month.

“We are starting this negotiation in a positive and constructive tone,” Mr. Davis told reporters. His EU counterpart Michel Barnier’s response was: “We must first tackle the uncertainties caused by Brexit.”

The euro was steady at $1.1195, retaining Friday’s 0.5 percent gain. The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six global peers, was also little changed at 97.182.

The market is awaiting comments by New York Fed President William Dudley, a close ally of Yellen’s, when he speaks at a business roundtable in New York state.

“In the wake of Friday’s weak U.S. data, Mr. Dudley could provide insight into whether the Fed is still poised to continue normalising monetary policy,” said Masafumi Yamamoto, chief forex strategist at Mizuho Securities in Tokyo.

Oil prices steadied on Monday, pausing for breath after coming under pressure over the past month from rising production in the United States, Libya and Nigeria, which has taken the edge off an OPEC-led initiative to support the market by cutting production.

Brent crude futures were trading 9 cents higher at $47.46 per barrel .

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were 7 cents higher at $44.81 per barrel.

Both benchmarks are down some 13 percent since late May, when producers led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries extended a pledge to cut output by 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) for an extra nine months.

Analysts said a steady rise in U.S. production, along with output increases in Libya and Nigeria, which are exempt from the OPEC cuts, were undermining the OPEC-led effort in the near term.

“There is no reason to be overly optimistic at the moment,” said Commerzbank analyst Carsten Fritsch.


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