Materials jump 5 per cent, all sector groups gain
The materials group of the main TSX index gained more than 5 per cent Wednesday as gold prices gained following the Fed’s interest rate announcement.
Meanwhile, official data showing a 2.4 per cent drop in US stockpiles led to rising oil prices and a 3 per cent gain for the TSX’s energy group. All of the ten main sectors gained and the overall index was up almost 1 per cent.
Wall Street also closed higher while European indexes were more subdued as the region awaits the result of the Dutch elections. Asian markets closed mixed with gains for Shanghai and Sydney.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index closed up 141.3 (0.92 per cent)
The Dow Jones closed up 112.7 (0.54 per cent)
Oil is trending higher (Brent $51.95, WTI $48.96 at 4.40pm)
Gold is trending higher (1219.50 at 4.40pm)
The loonie is valued at U$0.7515
Household debt sets new record
Canadians have set a new record for household debt with $1.67 owed for every dollar of disposable income.
Statistics Canada reported Wednesday that income rose 1.1 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2016 while credit debt rose 1.2 per cent. Mortgages accounted for 65.5 per cent of the debt.
On a seasonally adjusted basis, households borrowed $28.4 billion in the fourth quarter, up substantially from the $18.7 billion borrowed in the previous quarter.
House prices gain 3.5 per cent
House prices were up 3.5 per cent nationally in February compared to a year earlier, to reach an average $519,521.
The Canadian Real Estate Association reports that Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto are still driving price gains although the impact of Vancouver has been reduced by lower sales activity.
The impact of the two hot markets is shown by the average price when they are factored out; $369,728.
Toronto’s gains were 26 per cent for single-family homes and 19 per cent for condos.