Canada's main stock market climbs, price of gold hits record high

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The price of gold soared to a record high Monday, boosting Toronto's main stock index to a triple-digit gain.

"That's certainly the big story today," said Michael Currie, vice-president and investment adviser at TD Wealth. "It hit another record today."

The August gold contract advanced US$33.50 to US$1,931.00 an ounce after reaching a high of US$1,941.90 in intraday trading.

"We've got some things we knew are already in place," said Currie, highlighting economic uncertainty, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and continued low interest rates.

"Those have all been pushing gold up steadily for some time now."

On Monday, increasing tensions between China and the U.S. gave the price of gold an extra boost, he said.

While the S&P/TSX composite index saw a broad-based rally, the materials sector, which contains gold mining companies, led the gains. The index advanced 164.27 points to 16,161.33 with shares in the materials sector gaining, on average, 3.47 per cent of their worth.

"Typically, when we do see a good day for gold, we're going to see a good day for the materials sector," said Currie.

Health care and technology also performed well with shares in the sectors gaining, on average, 3.32 per cent and 1.95 per cent of their worth.

In technology, Shopify Inc. shares gained $58.24, or nearly 4.7 per cent, to $1,305.25.

What are being called the big four companies -- Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google's parent Alphabet -- are all set to report their earnings soon, he said, and investors are continuing to bet that technology companies will perform well.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 114.88 points to 26,584.77. The S&P 500 index gained 23.78 points to 3,239.41, while the Nasdaq composite moved up 173.09 points to 10,536.27.

The Canadian dollar traded for 74.75 cents US compared with 74.51 cents on Friday.

Elsewhere in commodities, the September crude contract gained 31 cents at US$41.60 per barrel and the September natural gas contract was down 8.1 cents at nearly US$1.79 per mmBTU. The September copper contract rose about a penny at nearly $2.90 a pound.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 27, 2020

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