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S&P/TSX composite posts small gain Thursday as U.S. markets close for Thanksgiving

TORONTO — Canada's main stock index made small but broad-based gains Thursday on a slow day for the markets amid the Thanksgiving holiday south of the border. 

Volumes were low on the TSX Thursday as U.S. markets were closed for the holiday, and with an early close in New York Friday it’s likely to be a slow end to the week, said Michael Currie, senior investment adviser at TD Wealth. 

The S&P/TSX composite index was up 61.81 points at 20,344.07, with small gains in most sectors on the TSX. 

One story for the markets was the Bank of Canada governor's appearance before MPs in Ottawa on Wednesday evening, said Currie, where he stuck to his talking points and reiterated the need to keep raising rates. 

Tiff Macklem said the Bank of Canada is on track to lose money for the first time in its history but insisted this won’t change the central banks’ policy on fighting inflation. Currie said this new development is a sign of current unprecedented times, but Macklem "seems to be downplaying it." 

Meanwhile, former Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz said in a speech Thursday that the economy today is more sensitive to interest rates than it was a decade ago. 

The Canadian dollar traded for 74.97 cents US compared with 74.67 cents US on Wednesday.

The January crude contract was down US$3.01 cents at US$77.94 per barrel and the January natural gas contract was down 30 cents at US$7.71 per mmBTU.

Talks of a cap on Russian oil prices continue and U.S. inventories were higher last week, said Currie. He said he expected both these factors to put a downward pressure on oil, but said prices weren't actually down by that much Thursday. 

Currie noted that while the TSX is only down by around four per cent year-to-date, the bulk of the upward weight is borne by big gains in energy. 

“It's been a real, real big gainer for the year,” he said. 

Next week might see a little more volatility as is normal near the end of the month, said Currie, but he’s relatively optimistic about the rest of 2022. 

“Historically, indicators would say we're probably in pretty good shape,” he said. 

The December gold contract was up US$5.70 at US$1,745.60 an ounce and the December copper contract was up less than half a cent at US$3.62 a pound.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 24, 2022.

Companies in this story: (TSX:GSPTSE, TSX:CADUSD=X)

The Canadian Press