Stock market fears subside as loonie strengthens against the US dollar – Financial Post

TORONTO — There were fewer signs of investor angst in the markets Friday despite intensifying North Korean-U.S. tensions, while the loonie rebounded after more than a week of losses.

On Bay Street, the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index shed a moderate 40.87 points to 15,033.38, with base metals and materials among leading decliners.

Trader sentiment was better in New York, where investors welcomed data showing consumer prices edged up 0.1 per cent last month after no gain in June, suggesting the Federal Reserve may be less likely to raise interest rates next month.

The Dow Jones industrial average added 14.31 points to 21,858.32, the S&P 500 index inched up 3.11 points to 2,441.32 and the Nasdaq composite index advanced 39.69 points to 6,256.56.

Despite President Donald Trump’s Friday morning tweet warning that “military solutions are now … locked and loaded,” investors are ultimately treating the ongoing standoff between the U.S. and North Korea “as a war of words as opposed to anything else,” said Norman Levine, managing director of Portfolio Management Corp.

Levine chalked up Thursday’s broad declines, where U.S. markets incurred the biggest single-day drop in nearly three months, as an excuse for investors to take profits.

“What’s important to keep in context is that markets, especially the U.S. market, has been quite extended on the upside,” he said.

The price of gold also slowed its pace of considerable gains over the last two trading days. The December bullion contract tacked on $3.90 to US$1,294.00, after surging a total of $27.50 on Wednesday and Thursday. The precious metal is typically considered a safe haven for nervous investors.

In currency markets, the Canadian dollar was trading at an average price of 78.83 cents US, up 0.16 of a cent.

Elsewhere in commodities, the September crude contract was up 23 cents at US$48.82 per barrel, September copper gained a penny at US$2.91 a pound and September natural gas was unchanged at US$2.98 per mmBTU.

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