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Stocks Strengthen, Set for Weekly Gains


Canada’s main stock index opened higher on Friday and was set to finish the week on a strong note boosted by gains in the energy sector, while hopes that the U.S. central bank is likely forgo more interest rate hikes further aided gains.

The TSX Composite gained 86.61 points to open the week’s last session at 20,139.68.

The Canadian dollar inched up 0.19 cents at 72.89 cents U.S.

The union for First Quantum’s unit in Panama reached an agreement with the company to guarantee salaries as protests and blockades against the miner prevent them from working. First Quantum shares fell a dime to $14.99.

On the economic slate, Statistics Canada says its raw materials index declined 2.5% on a monthly basis in October 2023 and fell 0.8% year over year, while the industrial product price index fell 1.0% month over month in October and was 2.7% lower than in October 2022.

Moreover, foreign investors reduced their holdings of Canadian securities by $15.1 billion in September, mainly due to retirements of bonds. Meanwhile, Canadian investors acquired $11.6 billion of foreign securities, ending the third quarter with the largest investment since the fourth quarter of 2021.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange leaped 2.87 points to 521.75.

All but three of the 12 TSX subgroups gained ground to start Friday, led by energy, vaulting 1.7%, while financials were 0.5% richer, and consumer discretionary stocks moved ahead 0.4%.

The three laggards were materials, sliding 0.5%, while gold dulled in price 0.4%, and information technology slipped 0.1%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks slid on Friday as investors looked to keep this month’s gains going.

The Dow Jones Industrials dropped 17.01 points to open the Friday session at 34,928.46.

The S&P 50 index fell 3.58 points to 4,503.82.

The NASDAQ sank 34.67 points to 14,079.

Gap shares leapt 18% after the company posted better-than-expected results for the third quarter. Electric vehicle charging network ChargePoint slid 36% after announcing a shake-up in its C-suite and cutting its forecast for third-quarter revenue.

All three averages are on pace for weekly gains — and that would mark their third straight positive week. The S&P 500 and the NASDAQ are up more than 2% through Thursday’s close, while the Dow is on pace for a 1.9% rise.

Those gains were sparked by tame U.S. inflation data that gave hope to investors that the worst of inflation — as well as the Federal Reserve’s tough stance on rate policy — may be in the rearview mirror.

The question is whether traders will be able to maintain that optimism for the remainder of the month. In November, the S&P 500 is up 7.5%, while the Dow has a 5.7% gain. The NASDAQ has leapt 9.8%.

Prices for the 10-year Treasury fell, raising yields to 4.44% from Tuesday’s 4.45%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices grew $1.46 to $74.36 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices slumped $3.90 to $1,983.40.



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