S&P/TSX composite up slightly as tech sector pulls back, energy makes gains
Canada's main stock index eked out another record high on Friday as losses in the technology sector were offset by gains in the energy sector.
The S&P/TSX composite index closed up just 3.76 points at 21,216.15, but specific sectors saw more individual movement, said Greg Taylor, chief investment officer with Purpose Investments.
“(The market) looked relatively flat today, but under the surface there was a lot of sector rotation going on,” Taylor said.
The energy sector was the best performer, gaining 1.32 per cent. The price of crude oil hit US$84 a barrel Friday after a brief sell-off earlier this week. Crude has gained more than 11 per cent this month alone and more than 70 per cent since the start of the year.
The December crude oil contract was up $1.26 at US$83.76 per barrel and the January natural gas contract was up 10 cents at US$5.56 per mmBTU.
Taylor said Canadian energy companies are expected to generate a lot of free cash flow at these commodity prices.
“I think that's really catching the attention of the investors, who it feels like had really forgotten about the energy stocks the last few years,” he said. “It's a sector that's doing very well, but it's very under-owned. And people are starting to come back to it.”
The price of gold also moved higher Friday, likely on concerns over inflation, Taylor said. The December gold contract was up US$14.40 at US$1,796.30 an ounce while the December copper contract was down six cents at US$4.50 a pound.
However, gains in energy as well as the industrials and materials sectors were somewhat offset by losses on the technology side. The S&P/TSX capped information technology index was down 1.83 per cent. Taylor said this can be partly attributed to disappointing quarter results from U.S. tech giants Intel Corporation and Snap Inc., the parent company of Snapchat.
“Technology's an area that's had a pretty good run the last few weeks, but it looks like it's under pressure today and that's taken down Shopify and some of the other Canadian names,” he said.
Shares in Shopify Inc. closed at $1,764.23, down 86.25 points or 4.66 per cent.
In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 73.94 points at 35,677.02. The S&P 500 index was down 4.88 points at 4,544.90, while the Nasdaq composite was down 125.50 points at 15,090.20.
The Canadian dollar traded for 80.93 cents US compared with 80.97 cents US on Thursday.
Canadian telecom giant Rogers Communications Inc. grabbed headlines this week due to an escalating boardroom fight between the company and Edward Rogers, who was removed as Rogers chair Thursday but remains chair of the family trust that controls the company.
However, the company's share price remained relatively flat, closing at $60.02, down just 0.28 per cent.
Taylor said the lack of movement is probably a sign that investors still expect the $26-billion deal Rogers signed earlier this year to take over rival Shaw Communications Inc to go through.
“As much as the boardroom activities are interesting, it doesn't seem to be impacting the share price too much,” Taylor said.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 22, 2021.