TORONTO — Canada's main stock index set new records again on rising crude oil prices, including Western Canadian Select reaching its highest level since 2014, even as U.S. equities trended lower.
The Canadian crude oil price moved above $58 a barrel.
Prices were higher about a decade ago but margins are much higher now than they were in 2012, said Craig Jerusalim, portfolio manager at CIBC Asset Management.
"So I would say $60 today is similar to $100 back then, if not more," he said in an interview.
Despite the current focus on pipelines, there's sufficient egress capacity to allow the differential between the Canadian benchmark and the global benchmarks to narrow.
West Texas Intermediate prices increased Tuesday to their highest level since October 2018 on growing demand as economies reopen and the inability of producers to bolster supply.
"There hasn't been that rush of supply increases to bring the commodity prices back down, so it's really that combination of strong growth and disciplined supply and that's why I don't think there's going to be an imminent fall in the commodity price any time soon."
The July crude oil contract was up US$1.24 at US$72.12 per barrel and the July natural gas contract was down 11.2 cents at US$3.24 per mmBTU.
The energy sector led the TSX, gaining 2.2 per cent as shares of Prairiesky Royalty Ltd. and MEG Energy Corp. rose 5.7 and 5.6 per cent, respectively.
The Canadian dollar traded for 82.05 cents US compared with 82.36 cents US on Monday.
The heavyweight financials sector climbed while Shopify Inc. helped push technology higher.
Health care was the biggest laggard, losing 2.7 per cent as Tilray Inc. lost 5.6 per cent.
Materials also lost ground with lower metals prices pushing Ivanhoe Mines Ltd. down 6.7 per cent.
The August gold contract was down US$9.50 at US$1,856.40 an ounce and the July copper contract was down 19.4 cents at US$4.33 a pound.
Jerusalim said base metals producers felt the effects of China giving indications that there might be a release of their strategic reserves that would especially impact aluminum and copper.
But he said supply issues ensure long-term fundamentals are still very strong for copper.
"There's just not enough supply to satisfy all the long-term demand growth from electric vehicles and renewable energy and copper wiring from construction," he said.
The S&P/TSX composite index closed up 73.67 points to a record close of 20,231.32.
In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 94.42 points at 34,299.33. The S&P 500 index was down 8.56 points at 4,246.59, while the Nasdaq composite was down 101.28 points at 14,072.86.
U.S. markets fell ahead of the start of a two-day Federal Reserve meeting where rising inflation will be a topic of debate.
Most observers don't expect any movement to taper bond purchases but everyone will be parsing any comments to indicate if there's a change in outlook that high inflation is only temporary.
"I would argue that it is going to be transitory," Jerusalim said. "However, it's tough to say how long the high inflation levels last and the longer it lasts, the scarier it gets for long-duration assets."
This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 15, 2021.
Companies in this story: (TSX:PSK, TSX:MEG, TSX:IVN, TSX:SHOP, TSX:GSPTSE, TSX:CADUSD=X)
Ross Marowits, The Canadian Press