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Resource stocks help drive S&P/TSX composite higher, U.S. markets mixed

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Strength in resource and industrial stocks helped Canada’s main stock index close higher Thursday, while U.S. stock markets were mixed.

The S&P/TSX composite index closed up 64.45 points at 21,581.35.

The technology index on the S&P/TSX composite was down about 0.6 per cent as U.S. tech stocks also pulled back after significant gains recently.

“I think it’s just a period of consolidation after such a strong move higher in such a short period of time,” said Mona Mahajan, senior investment strategist at Edward Jones.

“There doesn’t seem to be any specific news flow, but perhaps a little bit of exhaustion from buyers.”

In New York, where markets were closed on Wednesday for the Juneteenth holiday, the Dow Jones industrial average ended up 299.90 points at 39,134.76. The S&P 500 index was down 13.86 points at 5,473.17, while the Nasdaq composite was down 140.64 points at 17,721.59.

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Nvidia Corp. was down 3.5 per cent to lose its status as the most valuable company in the market. It had taken the distinction from Microsoft only Tuesday.

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With a pullback in tech, more resource-focused companies saw gains.

The S&P/TSX energy index was up 0.4 per cent, the base metals index was up 1.7 per cent, and industrials was up 0.8 per cent.

Energy stocks rose as the August crude oil contract traded for US$82.17 per barrel, up US$1.46 from its settlement price Tuesday.

U.S. benchmark crude prices have rebounded from close to US$73 at the start of June, boosted by both higher potential demand in the summer season and more economic optimism, said Mahajan.

“Part of it is demand coming in the summer season, but also we’ve seen a bit of stabilization from global economies, including Europe and China to some extent as well.”

Investors will get another snapshot of the Canadian economy on Friday as Statistics Canada releases retail sales data.

Next week will see inflation data for Canada on Tuesday and from the U.S. next Friday.

As speculation continues on rates and the economy, bond yields in Canada and the U.S. have ticked up, noted Mahajan.

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The small uptick, after a sharp move lower from late April, could also be putting some pressure on equity markets.

The Canadian dollar traded for 73.00 cents US compared with 72.94 cents US on Wednesday.

The July natural gas contract was down 17 cents at US$2.74 per mmBTU.

The August gold contract traded for US$2,369 an ounce, up US$22.10, while the July copper contract was up seven cents at US$4.56 a pound.

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