Toronto stock market posts first back-to-back rally since COVID-19 crisis

TORONTO – Canada’s main stock index posted its first back-to-back rally since the COVID-19 crisis began to hit stocks last month as stimulus measures appear set to become a reality in Canada and the U.S.

The TSX was the prime beneficiary and led the global charge Wednesday, said Candice Bangsund, portfolio manager for Fiera Capital.

“Some real robust numbers in Canada and again, that’s likely a result of investors edging back into the market towards the hardest hit sectors and regions of the market with notable outperformance in both energy and financials boosting the TSX,” she said.

The S&P/TSX composite index closed up 568.15 points, or 4.5 per cent, to 13,139.28.

Coupled with Tuesday’s 1,342-point gain, the TSX has climbed 17 per cent in two days but still remains nearly 27 per cent below its Feb. 20 all-time peak.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 495.64 points at 21,200.55. The S&P 500 index was up 28.23 points at 2,475.56, while the Nasdaq composite was down 33.56 points at 7,384.29.

The relief rally began in overnight markets after the U.S. Congress agreed to a US$2 trillion stimulus package to complement Federal Reserve support.

Wednesday’s approval by the House of Commons of an $82-billion package also helped the TSX.

“The passing of the baton to fiscal stimulus that’s really buoying sentiment these days,” said Bangsund.

The Canadian dollar gained nearly one cent to trade for 69.92 cents US compared with an average of 69.01 cents US on Tuesday.

Ten of the 11 sectors of the TSX were higher as several companies enjoyed very big days.

The energy sector rose more than eight per cent as Arc Resources Ltd. and Vermilion Energy Inc. were up about 21 and 20 per cent respectively on higher crude oil prices.

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