Financials help push index in Toronto to record high, U.S. markets mixed

TORONTO — Canada’s main stock index hit a new record high, fuelled by gains in the financial sector and fresh signs of easing trade tensions between the U.S. and China, but U.S. major stock indexes ended the day mixed.

The TSX surged for the second day in a row as China announced that it would lift punitive tariffs imposed on U.S. soybeans, pork and some other farm goods, the latest olive branch extended between the two major economic powers.

Much talk about recession fears in recent weeks has now given way to renewed optimism about the U.S.-China trade relationship, and room still remains for stocks to go even higher, said Allan Small, senior investment adviser at HollisWealth.

“As long as the trade talks progress, we can go higher…. A lot of people thought we were in the ninth inning and the game is almost over,” he said. “I don’t think so. I think we can grind higher for the foreseeable future, based on favourable trade conditions with China.”

The S&P/TSX composite index closed up 39.14 points at 16,682.42, after trading as high as 16,756.11 earlier in the morning. That surpassed the intraday record of 16,696.40 and the previous best-ever close of 16,669.40.

The announcement by a Chinese state news agency that it “supports domestic companies in purchasing a certain amount of U.S. farm produce” comes after President Donald Trump decided Wednesday to postpone a tariff hike on Chinese imports from Oct. 1 to Oct. 15.

U.S. markets, however, were a mixed bag amid a slide in technology stocks.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 37.07 points at 27,219.52, helped by industrial stocks such as Boeing.

The S&P 500 index closed down 2.18 points at 3,007.39, while the Nasdaq composite closed down 17.75 points at 8,176.71.

Shares of Apple Inc. slipped by 1.94 per cent to $218.75 on

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