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Canada’s main stock index edged higher on Monday, extending its recent streak of gains, as technology shares rose and investors awaited Canadian consumer price data that could offer additional evidence of slowing inflation.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index ended up 30.23 points, or 0.15%, at 20,390.33, its highest closing level since Dec. 2.

It was the TSX’s seventh straight day of gains and marked the longest winning streak since last May. Last week, the 50-day moving average crossed above its 200-day moving average, sending a bullish technical signal known as a Golden Cross.

U.S markets were closed for the Martin Luther King Day holiday, contributing to low trade volumes. But the tone in global markets was positive, with European shares hitting a near nine-month high on Monday. The pan-European STOXX 600 closed up 0.5% as global equities continued to build on a new year rally.

Markets globally were buoyed last week by U.S. data showing that price pressures have eased. A downward trend for inflation could support a more dovish stance from central banks, including the Bank of Canada.

Canada’s consumer price index report for December, due on Tuesday, is expected to show inflation slowing to an annual rate of 6.4%, which would be the lowest level since last February, from 6.8% in November.

The central bank on Monday said that most Canadian businesses expect a mild recession over the next year because higher interest rates are curbing investment plans and consumer spending.

The Toronto market’s technology sector rose 0.7% and consumer staples ended nearly 1% higher.

The materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, gave back some recent gains, ending 0.9% lower.

Shares of Mullen Group were also a drag, falling 8.7% after the logistics provider provided an outline of its expectations for 2023.

The TSX energy sector was up 0.3% even as U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude fell $1.01, or 1.3%, at US$78.85. It rose more than 8% last week for the biggest weekly gains since October after China abandoned what remained of its zero-COVID policy by reopening its borders on Jan. 8.

China’s crude imports rose 4% year-on-year in December, and an expected resurgence in travel for the Lunar New Year holiday at the end of the week raised the outlook for demand for transportation fuels.

“The narrative that Chinese growth is going to add to demand is playing a very large part here. There could be as much as a million barrels per day of demand returning,” said Bart Melek, head of commodity market strategy at TD Securities.

Reuters, Globe staff

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