North American stock markets close higher

TORONTO – North American equity markets closed higher on Wednesday, with major US indexes even reaching new record highs, as the Canadian dollar soared to its highest level in nearly three years.

“The underlying sentiment in the markets today is largely optimism and a better appetite for risk, as investors brace for further stimulus in the United States that will ultimately rekindle growth. and the outlook for corporate earnings, ”observed Candice Bangsund, portfolio manager at Fiera Capital.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S & P / TSX Composite Index gained 57.54 points to end the day with 18,014.91 points. He reached a high of 18,027.52 points during the session, which is only 31 points below his recent record.

In New York, US markets closed at record highs.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 257.86 points to 31,188.38 points, while the S&P 500 expanded index rose 52.94 points to 3851.85 points. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 260.07 points to 13,457.25.

Markets seemed encouraged by the inauguration of Joe Biden, who officially became President of the United States.

He proposed a US $ 1.9 trillion stimulus package that is expected to gain congressional support from Democrats, who control both chambers.

Treasury secretary candidate Janet Yellen agreed to Biden’s proposal on Tuesday during her confirmation hearing, which heightens the possibility of seeing the plan adopted. She also suggested that corporate taxes would not be increased, at least until the economy returns to some stability, Ms. Bangsund observed.

Significant additional spending in the United States would have a positive impact on the US gross domestic product (GDP) as well as for global growth in the coming year.

The arrival of COVID-19 vaccines is helping investors look past the short-term risks associated with the virus, Ms. Bangsund said.

In the currency market, the Canadian dollar traded at an average rate of 79.01 cents US, up from its average rate of 78.52 cents US the previous day.

On the New York Commodity Exchange, the price of crude oil advanced 33 cents US to US $ 53.31 per barrel, while that of gold rose US $ 26.30 to US $ 1,866.50 the ounce. The price of copper climbed less than US 1 cent to US $ 3.64 a pound.

The Canadian Press

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