The Toronto stock market had its highest close Wednesday in nearly a month boosted by commodity prices reaching levels not seen since early April.
The S&P/TSX composite index moved up 120.94 points to 12,585.05.
The Canadian dollar was up 0.11 of a cent at 99.67 cents US.
Stronger equity markets in Canada are a sign of heightened investor appetite for risk and optimism that the U.S. economy is gaining momentum in its recovery.
“It seems to be, that at least, the path of resistance is up, especially in the U.S.,” says Ian Nakamoto, a portfolio manager with investment firm MacDougall, MacDougall and MacTier.
“It’s hard to see what’s going to derail this upwards trend. I don’t think the rate of capitalization is going to be as strong as we had in the last couple of months, but people just want to put money into the market.”
Nakamoto says the confidence in stocks has been fuelled partly by a lack of other choices.
“Interest rates are so low … real estate is cooling. This is really the only game in town, the equities market,” he says.
The gold sector was the leading advancer on the TSX and soared 5.81% as June bullion made up for the $19.20 it lost on Tuesday, by surging ahead $24.90 to US$1,473.70 an ounce. Shares in Barrick Gold (TSX:ABX) were up $1.70 or 8.59% to $21.50.
Kinross Gold (TSX:K) shares closed up 33 cents, or 6.25% at $5.61. The company reported after markets closed Tuesday that profits were up by 50% in the first-quarter to US$160.5 million. Kinross
July copper gained seven cents at US$3.37 a pound following strong import and export data from China suggesting it’s recovering from an unexpected slowing in the first quarter. The metals and mining sector was up 3.93% with an increase of 3.93%.
The June crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange closed at a five-week high, up $1 at US$96.96 a barrel as the energy sector jumped by 4.54%.
Nakamoto says the burgeoning commodity prices, particularly in gold and copper, have helped send the resource-heavy TSX up, though he doesn’t expect that to last.
“Every year there is pullback,” he says. “It’s just a matter of when and what causes it. My best guess is that it’s going to be in the summer because people tend to take their guard down.”
Meanwhile, Wall Street climbed on several factors, including signs the U.S. is gaining momentum in its economic recovery and there’s an apparent easing in Europe’s debt crisis.
The Dow Jones industrials index edged up 48.92 points to 15,105.12 gaining on Tuesday’s record-breaking close above 15,000.
The Nasdaq was up 16.64 points at 3,413.27 while the broader market measure, the Standard and Poor’s 500, advanced 6.73 points to 1,632.69.
In economic news, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. says fewer houses were built in April, mainly due to a decline in urban areas.
The agency says starts came in at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 174,858 units, down from 181,146 in March.
In corporate news, shares in Enbridge Inc. (TSX:ENB) closed up five cents, or 0.11%, at $47.51 after the pipeline giant reported higher first-quarter adjusted earnings that beat expectations. However, the company also warns it doesn’t expect that pace to last.
Enbridge adjusted profits came in at $488 million, or 62 cents per share — beating the average analyst estimate by 10 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters. During the same period a year earlier, Enbridge earned $373 million, or 49 cents per share.
Shares of Tim Hortons Inc. (TSX:THI) were down after it reported a 2.9% decline in profits to $86.2 million or 56 cents per share. The company also appointed longtime senior Nestle executive Marc Caira as its new president and chief executive. Tim Hortons shares were down $1.51 or nearly 3%, at $57.13.