Toronto stock rally continues, caps off best week in more than three years

TORONTO — Canada's main stock index's rally continued for a sixth straight day Friday as it posted its best weekly performance in more than three years.

The S&P/TSX composite index closed up 35.69 points to 14,939.18. The market gained 512.56 points or 3.55 per cent for the week, its best run since October 2015.

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The Toronto market enjoyed its first six-day positive streak since mid-June. U.S. markets snapped their stretch at five days, although they were up about two per cent for the week.

"It's definitely been a week of relief trading," said Ian Scott, an equity analyst at Manulife Asset Management.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average lost 5.97 points at 23,995.95. The S&P 500 index was down 0.38 of a point at 2,596.26, while the Nasdaq composite was down 14.59 points at 6,971.48.

"It's been kind of an absence of negative news we've been having over the past few weeks that has allowed us to kind of snap back," he said in an interview.

After rising for several days, the S&P 500 has hit a level of technical resistance in not surpassing 2,600, said Scott.

He said U.S. markets are waiting for the earnings season to kick into gear next week with the reporting of several large banks, along with any news of trade negotiations between the U.S. and China to determine if they will resume their rallies or head lower.

All sectors on the TSX gained Friday except industrials and utilities, which dipped slightly.

Canadian Natural Resources Inc., Barrick Gold Corp. and CIBC were the top performers on the composite index, while Suncor Energy Inc., Canadian National Railway Co. and CGI Group Inc. were at the bottom.

Health care led by gaining about three per cent on appreciation by several cannabis producers.

The tone was set with Tilray's stock soaring more than 19 per cent on Nasdaq after top shareholder Privateer Holdings Inc. said it did not plan to sell its stock when the lock-up expires next week.

"I think that's driving strength across the entire Canadian cannabis space," Scott added.

Aurora Cannabis Inc. gained 7.5 per cent in heavy trading to end the week up more than 20 per cent. Aphria Inc. gained 5.4 per cent Friday after CEO Vic Neufeld and co-founder Cole Cacciavillani said they will be leaving their executive roles at the company, but will remain on the board. The Green Organic Dutchman Holdings increased 9.7 per cent, while Canopy Growth Corp. rose 1.93 per cent on the day and 33.8 per cent for the week.

The energy sector was one of the weaker performers Friday, gaining slightly as the streak of higher crude oil prices ended at 10 days as prices rose by 7.6 per cent for the week.

The February crude contract was down $1 at US$51.59 per barrel Friday and the February natural gas contract was up 13 cents at US$3.10 per mmBTU.

The February gold contract was up US$2.10 at US$1,289.50 an ounce and the March copper contract was up 2.45 cents at US$2.66 a pound.

The Canadian dollar traded at an average of 75.42 cents US compared with an average of 75.56 cents US on Thursday.

Companies, index and currency in this story: (TSX:CNQ, TSX:ABX, TSX:CM, TSX:SU, TSX:CNR, TSX:GIB.A, TSX:ACB, TSX:APHA, TSX:TGOD, TSX:WEED, TSX:GSPTSE, TSX:CADUSD=X)

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