S&P/TSX composite edges higher as US stock markets fall; Loonie down

S&P/TSX composite edges higher as US stock markets fall; Loonie down

S&P/TSX composite edges higher as US stock markets fall; Loonie down

"Anything that knocks China's growth rate, whether it's a slower recovery from the coronavirus or a rise in tensions with the USA, will weigh on global growth expectations", said Seema Shah, chief strategist at Principal Global Investors.

Canada's main stock index capped a good week by moving slightly higher Friday amid escalating tensions between the USA and China. The S&P 500 has gained 3% this week while the NASDAQ Composite is up 3% in that time.

Strength in technology, communications and real estate stocks helped reverse much of the market's early slide.

Energy was the big loser on the day, falling 1.5 per cent on a lower crude oil price as Frontera Energy Corp. decreased 5.2 per cent.

Futures tied to the S&P 500 ticked down 0.2%, suggesting that USA stocks may drop for a second day and erase most of the gains made so far this month.

Fresh hopes for a US economic recovery in the second half of the year and optimism about a potential vaccine for COVID-19 helped spur stocks higher for much of the week.

"We can't stay locked down for such a considerable period of time that you might do irreparable damage and have unintended consequences, including consequences for health", Fauci said. "There's still an bad lot of uncertainty we have to work though".

The S&P 500 recovered 6.94 points to 2,955.45. The index is still down 12.7% from its all-time high in February.

Futures for the NASDAQ Composite gained 3.5 points to 9,359.25.

Wall Street stocks finished mostly higher on Friday, concluding a positive week amid optimism about the reopening of the United States economy and progress on a coronavirus vaccine.

Small-company stocks did more than twice as well as the rest of the market this week, a bullish signal suggesting that investors expect the economy is on the path to recovery.

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The S&P/ASX 200 index closed at 5,497.00 points, down 53.40 points, or 0.96 percent.

The S&P 500 closed lower on Thursday, with signs mounting that President Donald Trump will make his tough stance on China a key element of his re-election bid.

Fears of a renewed trade war have cut short Wall Street's April rally and indices are now moving in a tight range, with fresh tariff actions likely to hamper a recovery from the economic shock of Covid-19.

Investors are now keenly focused on the process of reopening the USA economy, which is likely to continue accelerating as the summer progresses.

Oil prices fell, snapping a six-day winning streak.

The July crude contract was down 67 cents at US$33.25 per barrel and the July natural gas contract was up 2.9 cents at US$1.88 per mmBTU. Brent crude fell 2.3%, to $35.23 per barrel.

Bonds yields were mixed.

Oil continued to bounce along the lows of the session, with USA benchmark West Texas Intermediate down 3.15 per cent to trade at US$32.85 per barrel.

The choppy trading on Wall Street followed a downbeat day in Asia. European markets shook off some early weakness and ended mixed.

China says it will impose new national security laws on Hong Kong that are expected to lead to more protests and further tension with the U.S. The move has drawn strong rebukes from the USA government and rights groups.

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