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Major New York markets hit second consecutive day of record highs


Major New York stock indexes hit a second consecutive day of record highs while the Toronto stock market continued its six-day rise, continuing a post-U.S. election rally.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average recorded its third consecutive record-breaking day, advancing 142.04 points to 19,756.85.

Meanwhile, the S&P 500 gained 13.34 points at 2,259.53 and the Nasdaq composite rose 27.14 points at 5,444.50 for their second straight day of all-time highs.

Post-election momentum

North of the border, Toronto’s S&P/TSX composite index added 17.00 points at 15,312.20. Over the course of six days, it has gained 259.68 points.

Markets seem to have found some momentum post-election,” said Andrew Pyle, a senior wealth adviser and portfolio manager at ScotiaMcLeod in Peterborough, Ont.

The gains are expected to be sustainable until the start of 2017, he said, partly due to a revival in oil prices.

The January crude oil contract climbed 66 cents to close at $ 51.50 US per barrel.

Earlier in the week on Wednesday, oil prices had briefly dipped below the $ 50 per barrel mark when it settled at $ 49.77 US.

But Pyle said oil prices have bounced back from sub-$ 50 per barrel prices that held for November.

Anticipating production cuts

Crude prices are trending upwards on anticipation of this weekend’s meeting between OPEC member and non-member nations, he said, which is expected to reinforce the production cut agreement recently made.

Another factor boosting the markets is strong economic data coming out of the U.S., Pyle added.

There’s also the prevailing belief that U.S. president-elect Donald Trump will implement policies to change the regulation of the financial sector once he takes office in late January, which is driving up share prices in that sector.

In reaction to the strong sentiment around equity markets and the rise of the U.S. dollar, gold’s worth continues to weaken, Pyle noted.

The February gold contract hit a 10-month low, shedding $ 10.50 at $ 1,161.90 US per ounce.

Next week’s meeting of the U.S. Federal Reserve, where it is widely expected to raise interest rates, will be important for the precious metal commodity, Pyle said. The tone of the Fed’s decision could indicate whether it plans additional hikes next year.

If the decision goes as the market believes and the Fed increases interest rates, Pyle said the U.S. dollar could actually pull back a bit—which would be a boost for gold.

Elsewhere in commodities, the March copper contract added about two cents at $ 2.65 US per pound, while the January natural gas contract gained about five cents at $ 3.75 US per mmBTU.

The commodity-sensitive Canadian dollar added 0.06 of a U.S. cent at 75.87 cents US.

CBC | Business News