SPTSX composite index gains over 150 points North American markets rise

by Aleksandra Sagan, The Canadian Press Posted Oct 18, 2016 9:28 am MDT Last Updated Oct 18, 2016 at 3:20 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email S&P/TSX composite index gains over 150 points, North American markets rise TORONTO – Toronto’s main index soared more than 150 points on Tuesday, partly on the strength of gold as well as strong earnings from a number of American companies.The S&P/TSX composite index advanced 155.73 points to 14,752.25, lifted by gold sector gains of more than three per cent.The December gold contract added US$6.30 to $1,262.90 per ounce.Norman Levine, managing director at Portfolio Management Corp, said a jump in the price of gold could shift stock prices a little bit. But for the most part, he said, the S&P/TSX “is moving in tandem with the U.S. market,” which is seeing gains from a positive start to earnings season.In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average gained 75.54 points to 18,161.94 and the S&P 500 rose 13.10 points to 2,139.60. The Nasdaq composite advanced 44.02 points to 5,243.84.The early days of earnings season for American companies has seen positive results, and Netflix, UnitedHealth Group and Domino’s Pizza stocks all rose after each company reported a boost in profits.“So far, nobody’s really messed up to any large degree,” said Levine. “So, people are feeling confident today.”The loonie stayed relatively flat, rising 0.07 of a U.S. cent to 76.23 cents US ahead of tomorrow’s Bank of Canada rate announcement. The bank is expected to keep its key interest rate unchanged at 0.5 per cent.“It won’t make a change for the foreseeable future,” said Levine. The exception would be if the U.S. Federal Reserve, which is expected to boost its rate for the first time in months this December, makes numerous moves, he said.“Then the Bank of Canada will respond to that,” said Levine.However, he added, one rate hike by the Fed shouldn’t prompt Canada’s central bank into action, as the American economy is stronger and rate hikes signal an improved economy.Still, a Statistics Canada report released Tuesday boosted expectations for a rebound in the economy in the third quarter.Manufacturing sales increased 0.9 per cent to $51.1 billion in August. Economists had expected a rise of 0.3 per cent, according to Thomson Reuters.Elsewhere in commodities, the more heavily traded December crude contract gained 25 cents to US$50.62 per barrel, while the November crude contract gained 35 cents to US$50.29 per barrel.November natural gas rose 1.9 cents to US$3.26 per mmBTU and December copper contracts were relatively unchanged at US$2.11 a pound.— With files from the Associated PressFollow @AleksSagan on Twitter. read more

Syria UN chief stresses urgency of achieving political solution to end ongoing

“We all need to inject urgency towards reaching a political solution while there is still time to prevent Syria’s complete destruction,” said a statement issued by Mr. Ban’s spokesperson.“The end goal is clear to all – there must be an end to violence, a clean break with the past and a transition to a new Syria in which the rights of all communities are protected and the legitimate aspirations of all Syrians for freedom, dignity and justice, are met,” it added.“The sooner a military solution is abandoned the better. There is no need for more people to die, flee or grieve in Syria.”Well over 70,000 people have been killed since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad began in March 2011. The country is facing a humanitarian crisis, with over three million people displaced from their homes, including one million seeking safety in neighbouring countries. “Two years ago, Syrians stood up in peaceful popular protests to appeal for their universal rights and freedoms,” noted the statement. “This appeal was answered with brutal force by the Syrian authorities. Today, the world is watching the consequences with horror.” Mr. Ban called on the region and the international community, in particular the Security Council, to find unity and lend its full support to the efforts of the Joint Special Representative of the United Nations and the League of Arab States, Lakhdar Brahimi, to help the Syrian people reach a political solution to the conflict. read more