Canada's main stock market in Toronto extended the recent rally to a nearly-10-month high on Tuesday as heavyweight energy and financial stocks got boosted after crude oil prices rose to over 50 U.S. dollars while Canadian dollars rose to highest level in two weeks.
The Toronto Stock Exchange's benchmark Standard & Poor's/TSX Composite Index gained 89.45 point, or 0.63 percent, to close at 14,365.61 points, its highest level since early August.
The Toronto market is now seen qualified as a bull market as it maintains the 20-percent-plus gain since its low point in January.
Five of the TSX index's eight main sub-sectors were higher, while energy jumped 3.07 percent and financials went up 0.77 percent while metals & mining was down 1.57 percent.
The North American benchmark oil price closed above 50 U.S. dollar a barrel for the first time since last July, pushing the Canadian dollar higher along with it.
The West Texas Intermediate for July delivery increased 0.67 U.S. dollar to settle at 50.36 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for August delivery gained 0.89 dollar to close at 51.44 dollars a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange.
The price of oil has nearly doubled since January, boosted largely by a spate of unplanned outages that have eroded production in Canada, Venezuela, Libya and Nigeria, along with a steady decline in U.S. shale output.
However, the overall TSX gains were capped by a sharp fall in shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc., which fell 14.95 percent to 31.47 Canadian dollars (24.64 U.S. dollars) after the embattled drug company missed quarterly profit estimates and cut its full-year earnings and revenue forecast.
The most influential gainers included Baytex Energy Corp., which rose 13.95 percent to 8.25 Canadian dollars, and MEG Energy Corp., which also added 12.66 percent to 7.12 Canadian dollars.
Royal Bank of Canada advanced 0.78 percent to 79.95 Canadian dollars and Bank of Nova Scotia increased 1.84 percent to 67.07 Canadian dollars.
Bombardier Inc. shares remained unchanged at 2.00 Canadian dollars after the Canadian aircraft and train maker won a contract to supply 43 trains to European rail operator Abellio Rail Sudwest for about 215 million euros (244 million U.S. dollars).
The company said the trains would be inducted on the Stuttgart regional network in Germany from June 2019. Bombardier expects to supply all of the trains by 2020.
Canadian National Railway was up 0.01 percent at 77.44 Canadian dollars after announcing its CEO would step down for medical reasons.
On the economic beat, Western University's IVEY Purchasing Managers Index for May came in at 49.4, compared to 53.1 for April. The survey of purchasing managers asks whether their purchases increased during the month or went down. Any reading below 50 indicates a contraction.
Meanwhile one of Bay Street's most prominent economists believes that Canadian policymakers are taking the wrong approach in attempting to cool the country's red-hot housing markets.
The way wealth management firm Gluskin Sheff Chief Economist David Rosenberg sees it, Canada needs to focus more on increasing housing supply and less on trying to curtail demand.
"We continue to focus on the wrong area," he said. "The focus (needs to be the) supply constraints that politicians at every level of government can ease up."
Despite high demand in Toronto and Vancouver, building permits have dropped over the past year -- thus exacerbating the supply crunch in those markets, said Rosenberg.
Some observers have called on Canada to introduce new taxes to curb demand from foreign buyers. But foreign buyers are not price-sensitive and new taxes will do little to cool their appetite for Canadian properties, said Rosenberg. Indeed, he worries there is little the federal government can do to cool the market.
Real estate markets in Toronto and Vancouver have been a bright spot in a sluggish Canadian economy that continues to struggle with the crash in crude oil prices. However, Rosenberg warns that Canada's runaway housing markets are becoming not just a financial risk, but a social one.
The Canadian dollar traded higher at 0.7830 U.S. dollar, compared with Monday's closing rate of 0.7808 U.S. dollar.