CANADA STOCKS-Pot producers lift Toronto index to record high

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(updates price, adds analyst comments)

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Nov 12 (Businesshala) – Canada’s main stock index extended gains to hit an all-time peak on Friday, maintaining it for a second consecutive weekly rise, with cannabis stocks leading gains in the healthcare sector.

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At 9:45 a.m. ET (14:45 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX Composite Index was up 65.55 points, or 0.3%, at 21,647.53.

Healthcare shares were up 3.6%, up between 6.9% and 8.6% in early trading, led by gains in pot producers Tilray Inc., Aurora Cannabis Inc. and Canopy Growth Corp.

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“There is some optimism that the US is going to pass the marijuana legalization bill and that will open up more investment opportunities,” said Gregory Taylor, portfolio manager at Purpose Investments.

Toronto-listed technology stocks rose 1.4%, tracking gains in the tech-heavy Nasdaq index in the United States.

“We see bond yields pulling back a little bit from subsequent moves in the US CPI numbers and that’s probably something good for the tech sector,” Taylor said.

Weakness in bond yields helps companies with high growth prospects, thereby increasing the value of future cash flows.

The big jump in US consumer prices for October drove a rebound in the main index on Wednesday.

Equity indices ended the week on a strong note, helped by gains in health and material sectors.

Benchmark indices edged higher for most of the week, as strong bullion prices, positive moves in cannabis-related stocks and corporate earnings boosted investor sentiment.

Somewhat limited gains were energy and materials stocks, which were under pressure from declining commodity prices.

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The TSX posted fifteen new 52-week highs and a new low.

Across all Canadian issues, there were 80 new 52-week highs and seven new lows, with a total volume of 61.59 million shares.

Reporting by Amal S in Bengaluru; Editing by Arpan Varghese

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