TSX Wall Street up amid oil price slump and US government shutdown

first_imgTORONTO – Falling oil prices and a possible U.S. government shutdown didn’t seem to phase North American markets Friday, as the Toronto stock index and Wall Street capped off the week on a positive note.The S&P/TSX composite index was up 68.99 points to 16,353.46 — with the industrials and financials sectors offsetting energy losses, as the March crude contract fell 58 cents to US$63.31 per barrel.Oil futures closed lower after the International Energy Agency said U.S. oil production would rise sharply this year.“Industrials, financials and a lot of other sectors took the reins from the energy sector,” said Steve Belisle, a senior portfolio manager of equities at Manulife Asset Management.“It’s still a pretty upbeat economic backdrop. We’ve got rising interest rates, which are obviously helping the banks.”South of the border, investors spent Friday monitoring developments in Washington ahead of a possible federal government shutdown at midnight Friday.Despite an eleventh-hour effort to reach an agreement, Republicans and Democrats remain in a bitterly divided over federal spending and legislation to protect some 700,000 younger immigrants from deportation.“One could have been concerned about the potential government shutdown in U.S. but apparently the market is shrugging it off,” said Belisle. “It seems to be a non-event.”While oil and gas companies were the biggest laggard on Wall Street, retailers and consumer goods companies led most major New York indices to new milestones.The Dow Jones industrial average advanced 53.91 points to 26,071.72. The S&P 500 index added 12.27 points to 2,810.30 and the Nasdaq composite index was up 40.33 points to 7,336.38 — both record highs.In currency markets, The Canadian dollar closed at an average trading value of 80.26 cents US, down 0.09 of a U.S. cent.Elsewhere in commodities, the February natural gas contract was unchanged at US$3.19 per mmBTU.The February gold contract was up US$5.90 to US$1,333.10 an ounce and the March copper contract was down one cent to US$3.19 a pound.Follow @DaveHTO on Twitter.last_img