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

At 10 a.m. (ET), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 20.63 points, or 0.15 per cent, at 14,242.63.

The tech sector was one of the biggest gainers, up 0.9 per cent, while industrials were up 0.66 per cent.

The energy sector climbed 1.5 per cent, the most among the nine sectors trading higher, as U.S. crude prices were up 0.6 per cent a barrel and Brent crude added 1 per cent.

The consumer discretionary sector rose 1.19 per cent, lifted by Canada Goose’s 6.1-per-cent rise, the most on the TSX, after the winter apparel retailer had a strong opening of its first store in downtown Beijing.

Shares of Rogers Communications Inc. rose 0.11 per cent after a group of Rogers Media employees has crafted a proposal to buy the company’s magazine brands, in an attempt to save jobs at a division the communications company no longer wants to own. The group has put forward a plan to purchase Rogers Communications Inc.'s five remaining print magazines – Maclean’s, Today’s Parent, Hello! Canada and Chatelaine’s English and French editions – as well as digital titles Canadian Business and Flare and a custom content unit, which creates editorial-style content such as branded magazines for companies.

U.S. stock indexes jumped on Monday in a broad-based rally driven by growth sectors, as signs of progress in the U.S.-China trade dispute set up Wall Street to end its worst year in a decade on an upbeat note.

At 10:00 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 217.52 points, or 0.94 per cent, at 23,279.92, the S&P 500 was up 17.15 points, or 0.69 per cent, at 2,502.89 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 50.16 points, or 0.76 per cent, at 6,634.68.

U.S. President Donald Trump said he had a “very good call” with China’s President Xi Jinping on Saturday to discuss trade and that “big progress” was being made.

“The progress cited by Trump on trade talks and a continuation of last week’s rally are lifting investor spirits,” Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities, said in a client note.

The trade-sensitive S&P industrials sector rose 0.87 per cent, driven by gains in Caterpillar Inc. and Boeing Co., which was the biggest boost to the Dow Industrials. Caterpillar rose 0.55 per cent and Boeing rose 1.72 per cent.

The technology sector, housing companies that have major exposure to China, rose 0.72 per cent, while gains in Amazon.com Inc., up 1.4 per cent, and Netflix Inc., up 3.8 per cent, helped send the consumer discretionary sector 1 per cent higher.

But the biggest gain was among health stocks, the best performing sector this year, which rose 1.29 per cent. The defensive utilities and real estate sectors fell.

Energy stocks, the worst performing sector this year, rose 0.70 per cent as the update on the trade front also helped boost crude oil prices.

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

Last week started with the benchmark S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average coming within a whisker of a 20-per-cent decline from their closing high – also known as bear market territory – before rallying after Christmas to end the week higher after three straight weeks of losses.

Still, the S&P 500 down over 9 per cent so far in December, was its biggest monthly drop since February 2009 and its worst December since the Great Depression.

The S&P is down over 6 per cent this year, while the Dow is down nearly 6 per cent, both snapping two-year winning streaks to post their biggest yearly drop since 2008, during the throes of the financial crisis. The Nasdaq has snapped a six-year winning streak to drop about 4 per cent this year.

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, entering 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.

With files from Reuters

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