TSX Hits Record as Oil Prices Skyrocketed

Ivanhoe, First Quantum Lead Pack

Equities in Canada’s largest market scaled a new high on Tuesday, driven by sharp gains in energy stocks as the slowing number of new coronavirus cases in China eased concerns about a lasting hit to oil demand.

The TSX Composite Index continued its rise, gaining 74.88 points to move into noon hour EST Tuesday at 17,815.45

The Canadian dollar regained 0.18 cents to 75.27 cents U.S.

Among the gainers on the TSX were Ivanhoe Mines, up nine cents, or 2.4%, to $3.60, and First Quantum Minerals, up 51 cents, or 4.5%, to $11.82.

Aurora Cannabis recovered from earlier losses to gain a dime, or 4.8%, to $2.18, followed by peer Canopy Growth which charged ahead $1.37, or 5.4%, to $26.75, even as investors brace for more job cuts and writedowns at Canadian cannabis producers before the industry stabilizes and becomes profitable.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange improved 0.85 points to break for lunch Tuesday at 571.64.

All but three of the 12 TSX subgroups were higher, with health-care leaping 2.3%, energy gushing 0.8%, and utilities up 0.7%.

The three laggards were gold, down 1%, consumer staples tailed off 0.4%, and communications losing 0.2%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks gave back some of their earlier gains on Tuesday as they digested testimony from the top U.S. central banking official and assessed the potential economic impact of the coronavirus.

The Dow Jones Industrials gave up triple-digit gains to lose 6.42 points to 29,270.40.

The S&P 500 held onto gains 13.28 points at 3,365.37.

The NASDAQ added 46.71 points to 9,675.10.

China’s National Health Commission on Monday night said the death toll had risen to 1,016 people with 42,638 confirmed cases. However, data from Johns Hopkins University showed the number of new confirmed cases was its lowest since late January, increasing optimism around the country’s efforts to contain the outbreak.

Companies such as Under Armour have noted they will take a hit from the outbreak. Under Armour warned Tuesday the outbreak could lower sales by $50 million to $60 million.

Under Armour shares dropped more than 18% as lackluster quarterly results also pressured the apparel maker.

In other corporate news, a judge approved a merger between T-Mobile and Sprint. Sprint shares soared more than 70% while T-Mobile advanced 10.1%.

On the data front, job openings fell to a two-year low in December, reaching 6.4 million. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said the biggest decreases in job openings came from transportation, utilities and educational services, among other sectors.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell testified in front of the House Financial Services Committee that the central bank is “closely monitoring” the coronavirus situation for a potential hit to China and the global economy.

During the Q&A portion of his testimony, Powell noted it is “too early to say” how the coronavirus will ultimately impact the U.S. economy.

Prices for the 10-Year U.S. Treasury moved lower, raising yields to 1.58% from Monday’s 1.56%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices picked up 41 cents to $49.98 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices dipped $10.60 to $1,568.90 U.S. an ounce.

Dow Demurs from Record, Drops into Red