Toronto’s main stock index rose on Friday as energy stocks crept higher, while U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell kept the doors open for more interest rate hikes on still-high inflation.
At 9:50 a.m. ET (1350 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index (.GSPTSE) was up 37.06 points, or 0.19%, at 19,812.89.
During the keynote speech at the Jackson Hole symposium, Powell said the central bank’s policymakers would “proceed carefully as we decide whether to tighten further.”
He added that the Federal Reserve has not yet come to a conclusion as to whether its benchmark interest rate, currently at the 5.25%-5.50% range, is high enough to make the U.S. inflation return to the central bank’s 2% target.
Canada’s energy stocks (.SPTTEN) gained 0.8%, as crude prices rose more than 1%.
“My forecast is that the economy is going to remain quite resilient for the next at least six months. And if that’s the case, I think there’s a catch-up trade to be had in energy,” said Mike Archibald, vice president and portfolio manager at AGF Investments.
“Oil companies are making a lot of money and the stocks have underperformed rather significantly this year. There’s a good opportunity in the energy space.”
Indexes of most sectors were trading higher, with the exceptions to financials (.SPTTFS), which fell 0.4%.