Skip to main content

Canada’s main stock index climbed to a four-week high as hot U.S. inflation data bolstered the attractiveness of metal mining shares, while the technology group also gained ground. The S&P 500 also rose.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index ended up 181.35 points, or 0.9%, at 20,618.47, its highest closing level since Sept. 15.

“It is mostly to do with the higher inflationary number coming out of the U.S.,” said Allan Small, senior investment advisor of the Allan Small Financial Group with iA Private Wealth.

“That has sparked a pretty bid drive right up in gold, materials ... that’s what’s driving the bus.”

U.S. consumer prices increased solidly in September as Americans paid more for food, rent and a range of other goods, putting pressure on the Biden administration to urgently resolve strained supply chains, which are hampering economic growth.

Gold is seen as a hedge against inflation. It rose nearly 2%, helped also by a pullback in U.S. Treasury yields, while copper futures advanced 3.8%.

Both the materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, and the technology sector added 2.2%, while industrials ended up 1.3%.

Energy gave back some recent gains, falling 0.6%, as the rally in crude oil lost some momentum. U.S. crude oil futures settled 0.3% lower at $80.44 a barrel.

Among the largest percentage gainers on the TSX were Eldorado Gold Corp, which rose 9.3%, and Blackberry Ltd , which ended 4.7% higher.

For the S&P 500, gains were led by shares of big growth names like and Microsoft, but JPMorgan shares fell and weighed on the index even though the bank beat earnings expectations.

The S&P 500 briefly added to gains following the release of minutes from the September Federal Reserve policy meeting.

U.S. central bankers signaled they could start reducing crisis-era support for the economy in mid-November, though they remained divided over how much of a threat high inflation poses and how soon they may need to raise interest rates, the minutes showed.

Earlier, a Labor Department report showed consumer prices increased solidly in September, further strengthening the case for a Fed interest-rate hike.

Shares of JPMorgan Chase & Co fell and were among the biggest drags on the Dow and S&P 500 even though its third-quarter earnings beat expectations, helped by global dealmaking boom and release of more loan loss reserves.

The day’s corporate results kicked off third-quarter earnings for S&P 500 companies.

“My hope is that as we work out way through earnings season that the forward-looking guidance will be good enough that we’ll close the year higher. But right now the market is in a show-me phase,” said Jim Awad, senior managing director at Clearstead Advisors LLC in New York.

Mega-caps growth names including Inc, Google-parent Alphabet and Microsoft Corp all rose. According to preliminary data, the S&P 500 gained 14.20 points, or 0.33%, to end at 4,364.85 points, while the Nasdaq Composite gained 105.71 points, or 0.73%, to 14,571.64. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 4.35 points, or 0.01%, to 34,382.69. BlackRock Inc also gained after the world’s largest money manager beat quarterly profit estimates as an improving economy helped boost its assets under management, driving up fee income.

Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo and Morgan Stanley will report results on Thursday, while Goldman Sachs is due to report on Friday.

Analysts expect corporate America to report strong profit growth in the third quarter but worries have been mounting over how supply chain problems, labor shortages and higher energy prices might affect businesses emerging from the pandemic.

Among other stocks, Apple Inc dipped after a report said the iPhone marker was planning to cut production of its iPhone 13.

Read more: Stocks that saw action on Wednesday - and why

Reuters, Globe staff

Be smart with your money. Get the latest investing insights delivered right to your inbox three times a week, with the Globe Investor newsletter. Sign up today.