Stocks Zoom by Week’s End

Equity markets in Canada finished the Friday discernibly higher, helped by gold and energy stocks as crude prices gained on concerns it could take weeks to dislodge a giant container ship blocking the Suez Canal.

The TSX hiked 101.48 points to end Friday and the week at 18,752.58. The index lost, however, 101 points, or 0.54%, over the last five sessions.

The Canadian dollar recovered 0.15 cents at 79.50 cents U.S.

Resources led the charge Friday, with Alamos Gold surging 23 cents, or 2.4%, to $9.99, while Centerra Gold advancing 30 cents, or 2.8%, to $11.09.

Canfor Corporation rose 74 cents, or 3%, to $25.16, while First Quantum Minerals barrelled ahead $1.12, or 4.9%, to $24.20.

Among energy concerns, MEG Energy jumped 39 cents, or 6.1%, to $6.75, while Seven Generations Energy popped 39 cents, or 4.9%, to $8.37.

Health-care firms took some spark out of all those gains, with Cronos Group falling 41 cents, or 3.4%, to $11.61, while Aphria backed off 86 cents, or 3.8%, to $21.74.

In the communications sector, Telus docked 91 cents, or 3.5%, to $25.33, while Corus Entertainment subtracted 13 cents, or 2.2%, to $5.92.

The federal procurement minister said Moderna has delayed the shipment of 590,400 doses of its COVID-19 vaccine that were due to arrive in Canada this weekend.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange regained 6.69 points to 943.29. On the week, this index also got punished, just fewer than 52 points, or 5.2%.

All but two of the 12 TSX subgroups were strong to the finish on Friday, with gold brightening 1.8%, materials up 1.7%, energy higher by 1.3%

Only health-care, down 2.1%, and communications, off 1.8%, missed the party.

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. stocks climbed on Friday, finishing the volatile week on a high note as stocks benefiting from a successful economic reopening outperformed again.

The Dow Jones Industrials screamed higher 453.4 points, or 1.4%, to 33,072.88

The S&P 500 added 65.02 points, or 1.7%, to 3,974.54, hitting a record closing high.

The NASDAQ Composite shot higher 161.05 points, or 1.2%, to 13,138.72.

The Dow posted modest gains of 1.4%, and the S&P 500 grew 1.6%. The NASDAQ fell 0.6% on the week, however. The market rally has slowed down in recent weeks as rising interest rates and valuation concerns hit tech names.

Classic reopening plays built on the momentum from the previous session. United Airlines climbed more than 1%, while Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line jumped 1.3% and 3% respectively. Cyclical sectors energy and materials led the gains, rising more than 2% each.

Financial stocks rose after the Federal Reserve announced that banks could resume buybacks and raise dividends starting at the end of June.

The central bank originally said it would lift pandemic era restrictions in the first quarter, but even the delayed move gives investors more clarity.

Fears of rising inflation eased after data showed tamed price pressures. The core personal consumption expenditure price index, which strips out volatile food and energy prices, rose 0.1% month over month, matching expectations from economists polled by Dow Jones. Year-over-year, the gauge climbed 1.4%, slightly lower than a 1.5% estimate.

Meanwhile, consumer sentiment in the U.S. continued to rise amid the vaccine rollout. A University of Michigan survey released Friday showed the final reading of the index of consumer sentiment was 84.9 in March, up from 76.8 in February. Economists polled by Dow Jones expected a reading of 83.7.

The major averages are on track to eke out small gains for the week after back-to-back gains. The S&P 500 and the Dow are both up about 0.4% this week, while the NASDAQ has inched up 0.2% on the week.

President Joe Biden on Thursday announced a new goal of having 200 million COVID vaccination shots being distributed within his first 100 days in office. As of Friday, 100 million coronavirus vaccinations had been given since Biden was inaugurated.

Prices for 10-Year Treasurys fell slightly, pushing yields higher to 1.67% from Thursday’s 1.63%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices jumped $2.25 to $60.81 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices recouped $5.70 to $1,730.80.

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