S&P/TSX composite recovers from early losses to close higher Monday

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Canada’s main stock index recovered from early losses to end higher Monday along with U.S. stock markets.

Stocks climbed as concerns about tension between Israel and Iran continued to ease, said Anish Chopra, managing director at Portfolio Management Corp.

“Investors were concerned about rising tensions in the Middle East, but Iran has said it won’t escalate the conflict, so that’s good news. That’s good news for investors as well.”

The volatility index, which spiked above 20 on Friday following Israel’s strikes on Iran, was down below 17, though still elevated compared with the low levels seen in the early months of the year.

The reduced volatility marked a shift toward a more risk-on day that saw the main U.S. indexes snap six-day losing streaks as tech stocks rose.

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Canada’s more resource-heavy S&P/TSX composite index was down in early trading as key resource prices fell, but it ended up 64.59 points at 21,871.96.

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In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average ended up 253.58 points at 38,239.98. The S&P 500 index was up 43.37 points at 5,010.60, while the Nasdaq composite was up 169.30 points at 15,451.31.

Markets in the U.S. will be closely watching big tech earnings this week, including from Meta Platforms, Microsoft and Alphabet, for any guidance for the rest of the year, said Chopra.

“What investors are really looking for is not just what happened in the first quarter, but what the executives at these megacap tech companies are saying in terms of earnings and revenue trends for the rest of the year.”

For Canadian companies, gold miners were some of the bigger drags on the day, including Kinross Gold Corp. down 4.8 per cent and Barrick Gold Corp. down 4.3 per cent as the metal started retreating from its all-time highs.

The June gold contract was down US$67.40 at US$2,346.40 an ounce, likely related to the easing tension as some see it as a geopolitical safe haven, said Chopra.

“If you look at the tensions in the Middle East easing, then the safe haven necessity for gold does come off.”

The benchmark May crude oil contract was down 29 cents to US$82.85 per barrel and the May natural gas contract was up four cents to US$1.79 per mmBTU.

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The Canadian dollar traded for 72.91 cents US compared with 72.74 cents US on Friday.

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