The Canadian market turned in another firm performance with investors picking up stocks from across several sectors on Thursday.
The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index ended with a gain of 148.88 points or 0.71% at 21,218.93, extending gains to a third straight session. The index climbed to a high of 21,265.76 in the session.
The mood remained quite positive as concerns about Omicron variant of the coronavirus faded a bit after separate studies indicated the new strain poses a lower risk of severe disease and hospitalization than the Delta variant.
However, experts such as the World Health Organization have cautioned that it is too early to draw conclusions on the new variant’s severity.
Encouraging economic data contributed as well to the market’s uptick. The Canadian economy expanded 0.8% month-over-month in October of 2021, following a 0.2% growth in September and in line with market expectations, data from Statistics Canada showed. It was the fifth consecutive monthly expansion.
Meanwhile, preliminary data showed that the economy expanded 0.3% in November.
Average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees in Canada rose 2.7% year-on-year to C$ 1,133.93 in October of 2021, and little changed from the previous month.
Technology and healthcare stocks were among the most prominent gainers. Consumer discretionary and financials shares also fared well.
Boyd Group Services (BYD.TO), Shopify Inc (SHOP.TO), Nuvei Corporation (NVEI.TO), Brp Inc (DOO.TO) and Goeasy (GSY.TO) gained 2 to 3.7%.
TFI International (TFII.TO), Kinaxis Inc (KXS.TO), Constellation Software (CSU.TO) and Canadian Tire Corporation (CTC.A.TO) also closed notably higher.
Dye & Durham (DND.TO) declined 4.8% on profit taking after recent strong gains. Tourmaline Oil Corp (TOU.TO) ended lower by 3.3%, while Stelco Holdings (STLC.TO), Kirkland Lake Gold (KL.TO), Agnico Eagle Mines (AEM.TO) and Rogers Communications (RCI.A.TO) shed 1.4 to 2.25%.