Canada Stocks Close Higher; Financials Drive Gains; Housing Start Show Strength


Canada's main stock market, the Toronto Stock Exchange, closed higher on Monday despite headwinds generated by lower commodity prices after Chinese exports unexpectedly sank - raising fears that demand for commodities in that country might lessen.

West Texas Intermediate and Brent crudes fell and Copper prices touched eight month lows. However, gold prices made modest gains on some safe haven buying amid continuing geopolitical concerns surrounding the Ukraine and Russia, and also on some bargain buying.

Bloomberg reported hedge funds and other speculators expanded bets on higher gold prices for a fourth week in New York futures and are now the most bullish since December 2012, government data show. But, it said, while gold is off to its best start in six years after topping US$1,350 an ounce, Goldman's Jeffrey Currie reportedly says chances are increasing that prices will slump to $1,000 for the first time since 2009.

Early on Monday, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp reported that Housing starts rose by 6.4% to an annualized 192.1K in February, compared to market expectations for a 190K reading.

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This article appears in: Investing , Commodities

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