Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Stock Markets, Commodities Surge amid Optimism Debt Crisis Can Be Averted

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Stock Markets, Commodities Surge amid Optimism Debt Crisis Can Be Averted

Article excerpt

TSX advances on optimism over fiscal cliff

--

TORONTO - North American stock markets were in rally mode Monday as traders felt that cool heads will prevail and American politicians can come together to agree on a budget deal by the end of next month.

Without such a deal, the U.S. risks going over a so-called fiscal cliff and into recession as the economy would suffer a severe shock from a combination of automatic spending cuts and the expiration of Bush-era tax cuts.

The S&P/TSX composite index jumped 162.68 points to 12,040.4, while the TSX Venture Exchange gained 14.62 points to 1,249.96.

The Canadian dollar closed up 0.44 of a cent to 100.34 cents US.

U.S. indexes surged with the Dow Jones industrials running up 207.65 points to 12,795.96, the Nasdaq climbed 62.94 points to 2,916.07 and the S&P 500 index was ahead 27.01 points to 1,386.89.

Fiscal cliff concerns started to ease Friday afternoon following a meeting between congressional leaders and U.S. President Barack Obama, with both Republicans and Democrats striking a more conciliatory stance.

And on Sunday, Obama said: "I am confident we can get our fiscal situation dealt with."

While there is still room for plenty of disappointment in resolving this potential crisis, markets were on the lookout for anything positive out of the negotiations.

But analysts said more than just reassuring words will be needed.

"Rhetoric only goes so far and so the market will now need to wait," said Paul Taylor, chief investment officer, BMO Harris Private Banking.

"This is a pretty slow week with U.S. Thanksgiving so it's more a question of what's the timeline, how long will it take for the story to be (written) on this current episode on discussions related to the fiscal cliff. If we don't get it right, that will be very poor for markets."

Markets finished positive on Friday but prior to that, the TSX had tumbled 3.9 per cent since the election Nov. 6 as a U.S. economic shock would impact economies around the world. A sudden slowing of economic growth would be bad news for a resource heavy market like Toronto, since a lessening of demand for oil and metals would put pressure on mining and energy stocks.

Meanwhile, the Dow industrial average has fallen five per cent as investors worry about higher dividend, capital gains and payroll taxes.

On the TSX, the telecom sector was in focus after BCE Inc. (TSX:BCE) and Astral Media Inc. (TSX:ACM.A) said they are submitting a new acquisition proposal to the CRTC, saying they've found ways to address the regulator's concerns over the level of ownership concentration in some markets. The CRTC recently rejected the original $3.4-billion proposal for Bell Canada's parent to buy the Montreal-based radio, television and media company. BCE shares gained two cents to $42. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.