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S&P/TSX composite rises almost 150 points Friday, U.S. markets also gain

The Bay Street Financial District is shown with the Canadian flag in Toronto on Friday, August 5, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

TORONTO — Canada's main stock index gained almost 150 points Friday amid broad-based strength, while U.S. markets also rose as tech continued to outperform. 

Markets closed the day in the green as negotiators at the debt ceiling talks appeared to be closer to a deal before the U.S. government runs out of cash. The talks have been adding uncertainty to the market as a deadline looms, since the nation could go into a potentially catastrophic default if a deal isn’t reached. 

The S&P/TSX composite index was up 146.23 points at 19,920.31.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 328.69 points at 33,093.34. The S&P 500 index was up 54.17 points at 4,205.45, while the Nasdaq composite was up 277.59 points at 12,975.69.

“Right now the market is looking for any excuse to go up,” said Pierre-Benoît Gauthier, assistant vice-president of investment strategy at IG Wealth Management.

However, even though markets ended the week on a positive note, new data came out Friday that indicated central banks’ inflation fight may not be over, said Gauthier.

He pointed to a key index of U.S. prices ticking higher in April, with consumer spending remaining resilient. 

As the Federal Reserve’s next meeting creeps closer, investors’ optimism over a rate pause is waning, he said. 

“A couple of weeks ago we were certain that June would be a pause,” said Gauthier, but now the market is pricing in 40-per-cent odds of a hike in June as the economic data has been increasingly painting a picture of sticky inflation.

“Every metric is coming in higher than we thought,” he said.

“The fight might not be over.” 

If the Fed hikes again, the Bank of Canada will be in a tough spot as the gap between the two banks' monetary policies widens, said Gauthier.

Meanwhile, Germany entered a recession, giving a peek into what investors largely believe will be the U.S.'s future, said Gauthier, calling it “the most foreseen recession we have seen.”

Technology stocks continued to outperform the market Friday, with the Nasdaq rising more than two per cent. 

“The market is looking for any growth they can find,” said Gauthier. 

The Canadian dollar traded for 73.41 cents US compared with 73.38 cents US on Thursday.

The July crude contract was up 84 cents at US$72.67 per barrel and the July natural gas contract was down six cents at US$2.42 per mmBTU.

The June gold contract was up 60 cents at US$1,944.30 an ounce and the July copper contract was up nine cents at US$3.68 a pound.

— With files from The Associated Press

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 26, 2023.

Companies in this story: (TSX:GSPTSE, TSX:CADUSD=X)

Rosa Saba, The Canadian Press

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