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Canada’s main stock index rose Monday, the last trading session of 2108, as energy and material stocks were boosted by rising oil prices, which surged on hints of progress on a possible China-U.S. trade deal.

At noon (ET), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX Composite Index was up 55.25 points, or 0.39 per cent, at 14,277.25.

The index has fallen 11.97 per cent this year, snapping a two-year winning streak and is set to post its worst yearly decline since the financial crisis of 2008.

Materials stocks rose 1.15 per cent with Ivanhoe Mines up 3.1 per cent, Barrick Gold up 3 per cent, and Lundin Mining up 1.8 per cent.

Energy stocks rose 1 per cent with Seven Generation adding 3.8 per cent, Enerplus up 2.8 per cent and Cenovus up nearly 3 per cent.

Tech stocks gained 1.2 per cent as Shopify gained 4.7 per cent.

Cannabis producer Aphria Inc fell 8.1 per cent, the most on the TSX, pulling away further from Green Growth Brands Ltd’s planned offer price of $11.

The consumer discretionary sector rose 0.5 per cent, lifted by Canada Goose’s 4.5-per-cent rise after the winter apparel retailer had a strong opening of its first store in downtown Beijing.

Shares of Rogers Communications Inc. slipped 0.1 per cent after a group of Rogers Media employees crafted a proposal to buy the company’s magazine brands, including Maclean’s, Today’s Parent, Hello! Canada and Chatelaine’s English and French editions.

The Canadian dollar was on track to end 2018 with its worst performance in three years, little changed on the day against its U.S. counterpart as gains for stocks offset a decline in oil prices. It traded in the 73.25 cent US range.

Equities around the world rose on Monday, with Wall Street edging up in choppy trading as hints of progress in the trade dispute between the United States and China provided a rare glimmer of optimism in what has been a punishing end of year for markets.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 141.83 points, or 0.61 percent, to 23,204.23, the S&P 500 edged up 8.07 points, or 0.32 per cent, to 2,493.85 and the Nasdaq Composite added 24.9 points, or 0.39 per cent, to 6,611.67.

The U.S. benchmark S&P 500 stock index advanced after U.S. President Donald Trump said he held a “very good call” with China’s President Xi Jinping on Saturday to discuss trade and claimed “big progress” was being made.

Chinese state media were more reserved, saying Xi hoped the negotiating teams could meet each other halfway and reach an agreement that was mutually beneficial.

Monday’s upward move, however, sheds little insight into the state of markets going into 2019, said Robert Phipps, director at Per Stirling Capital Management in Austin, Texas.

“There’s a little bit of a positive bounce this morning on seasonal factors and the fact that Trump tweeted there was great progress being made on the China negotiations,” Phipps said. “But the biggest thing going on is very large reallocations out of debt and into equities in pension plans. I don’t think this is a market call at all.”

After the violent swings this month, the last day of trading is expected to be relatively muted in comparatively light volumes ahead of the holiday on Tuesday for New Year’s Day.

The S&P energy index, the worst performing among the 11 major sectors this year, erased earlier gains to trade flat as oil prices dropped.

Facebook Inc fell 1.2 percent, cementing its place as the worst performing FAANG stock of the year, while Alphabet Inc fell 0.5 per cent.

While they weighed the most on the major indexes, the others in the group, Apple Inc, Amazon.com Inc and Netflix Inc, which rose between 0.8 per cent and 2.7 per cent, provided the biggest boost.

The trade-sensitive S&P industrials sector also gave up gains to trade flat, although Boeing Co’s roughly 1 percent gain gave the biggest boost to the Dow Industrials.

Health stocks, already the best performing sector this year, were the biggest gainers, up 0.84 percent. The defensive utilities and real estate were among the eight sectors lower.

The S&P is down roughly 9.5 percent so far in December, on pace for its biggest monthly drop since February 2009 and its worst December since the Great Depression.

The S&P and Dow are down 6.5 per cent and 7 per cent, respectively, for the year, snapping two-year winning streaks in their biggest annual loss since 2008. The Nasdaq has ended a six-year winning streak to drop about 4.5 per cent.

Most of the damage was inflicted in the past three months as worries about Sino-U.S. trade frictions, U.S. interest rate hikes, slowing corporate profit growth, Brexit and the partial U.S. federal government shutdown, now in its 10th day, formed a perfect storm across global financial markets.

Many of these concerns will carry over into 2019, but for this week the major point of interest will be key U.S. economic reports, including on manufacturing and employment.

Still, the rise in U.S. equities mirrored that in Asian and European markets, which were also buoyed by trade optimism. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan ended up 0.6 per cent, and Europe’s STOXX 600 pushed 0.5 per cent higher.

However, oil prices, which have been weighed by oversupply concerns, slumped once more after having posted gains earlier.

Brent crude futures fell 31 cents to US$52.90 a barrel, a 0.6-per-cent loss. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures fell 34 cents to US$44.99 a barrel, a 0.8-per-cent loss.

Both contracts are down more than a third this quarter, the steepest decline since the fourth quarter of 2014.

MSCI’s emerging markets index rose 1.1 per cent, while the MSCI world stock index gained 0.53 per cent.

Despite Monday’s advance, global equities were set to end the year largely in the red.

Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan ended down 16 per cent for the year, while the STOXX 600 was more than 13 per cent lower.

Yields on U.S. Treasuries fell on Monday, keeping with the trend over the past two months as investors have moved to lower-risk investments.

Benchmark 10-year notes last rose to yield 2.7037 per cent, from 2.738 per cent late on Friday.

The fall in Treasury yields reflects expectations of a slowdown, if not a pause altogether, in the Federal Reserve’s progression of interest-rate hikes.

The precipitous drop in yields has undermined the U.S. dollar in recent weeks. The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six currencies, was down 0.2 per cent and on track to end December with a loss. It is still up for the year, however.

On Monday, the dollar also hit a six-month low against the yen.

The euro was up 0.11 per cent to $1.1449. Still, it is on track to end the year down about 4.5 per cent.

With files from Reuters

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