Energy sector helps boost stocks in Toronto while loonie slips lower

first_imgA rise in oil prices helped the energy sector boost Canada’s main stock index Friday, though the loonie moved lower for a fourth consecutive day as trade worries continue.The S&P/TSX composite index was up 40.71 points to close at 15,711.33, up 0.86 per cent in the week.Energy stocks climbed as the May crude contract was up $1.16 to US$62.41 per barrel, with the S&P/TSX Capped Energy index up 2.32 per cent on the day.The climb in the oil price didn’t translate to an increase in the Canadian dollar though, as trade fears overshadowed the potential boost from the energy sector, said Ian Scott, an equity analyst at Manulife Asset Management.“With crude up…it is interesting that the Canadian dollar continues to slide. And I think that underscores the trade concerns we’re facing.”The Canadian dollar closed at 76.41 cents US, down 0.32 of a US cent on Friday, and off 1.53 cents US over the past four days.The U.S. dollar was boosted by higher than expected industrial production and consumer sentiment, but the lower Canadian dollar can largely be attributed to continuing NAFTA fear’s even after Canada secured a metal tariff exemption, said Scott.“It was good to see where weren’t getting slapped with aluminum and steel tariffs right away, but I do feel, and I think a lot of people are aware, that it’s a kind of negotiating, strong-arm move by the president,” he said.“He’s basically saying you’re exempt as long as you play nice on NAFTA, so I think even though some of the tariff fears are pushed aside at least slightly for now, the NAFTA problem is still there, and that’s the real issue.”Elsewhere in the market, toy company Spin Master Corp. was down 2.52 per cent Friday and off 6.89 per cent on the week after Toys “R” Us said it was shuttering its U.S. operations and the Canadian division said it was looking to find a buyer.The drop at Spin Master came despite a positive long-term outlook for the company released earlier in the week, said Scott, with the company following in the declines of U.S. toy giants Mattel Inc. and Hasbro Inc.In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 72.85 points to 24,946.51. The S&P 500 index was up 4.68 points to 2,752.01 and the Nasdaq composite index was up 0.25 points to 7,481.99.The April natural gas contract was up one cent to US$2.68 per mmBTU.The April gold contract was down US$5.50 to US$1,312.30 an ounce and the May copper contract was down two cents to US$3.11 a pound.last_img