North American stock markets bounce back from retreat prompted by Brexit vote

TORONTO – Investors injected some life back into North American markets on Tuesday, as the indexes in Toronto and New York clawed back some of the massive losses that followed last week’s British vote to leave the European Union.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index added 152.90 points to 13,842.69, recovering more than a third of its losses over the previous two sessions. Canada’s main index now is down two per cent from Thursday’s close.

Rising oil prices helped push the Canadian dollar towards a healthy bounce-back, as the loonie rose 0.23 of a U.S. cent to 76.72 cents US after losing almost two cents in the rout.

New York markets strengthened amid encouraging U.S. data on housing, the economy and consumer confidence.

The Dow Jones industrials was up 269.48 points at 17,409.72 after the index lost a combined 871 points or 4.8 per cent of its value in trading Friday and Monday.

The broader S&P 500 was up 35.55 points at 2,036.09, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq gained 97.43 points to 4,691.87.

“Brexit still remains a political issue rather than a financial issue; it remains more of a domestic issue versus more of an international issue,” said Ben Jang, a portfolio manager with Nicola Wealth Management in Vancouver.

“We haven’t seen the contagion effect that people were really concerned about.”

Jang said the fact that global stock markets have shown strength so soon after Thursday’s surprising vote in Britain signals that investors realize that the fundamental market drivers do not support such drastic declines.

“A lot of it was a knee-jerk reaction when people realized that there is (now) a high chance of the euro and EU breaking up,” he said.

“But if you are looking at an economy that is strong enough to weather this volatility, it is the U.K. That’s what it boils down to.”

He noted that central banks continue to be accomondative in their policies amid indications that policy-makers will do whatever is needed to prevent a global recession.

Fallout from Brexit likely also means the U.S. Federal Reserve will keep its rates on hold for longer than anticipated, said Jan, who now doesn’t expect the Fed to move until perhaps December or even next year.

In commodities, the August contract for benchmark North American crude oil settled up $1.52 at US$47.85 a barrel, while August natural gas shot up 15 cents to US$2.89 per MMBtu and September copper added five cents to US$2.17 a pound.

Gold bullion, a safe haven commodity that gained more than US$60 since the Brexit vote, lost some of its sheen with the August contract falling $6.80 to US$1,317.90 a troy ounce.

In Europe, Britain’s FTSE 100 and France’s CAC 40 both rose 2.6 per cent, while Germany’s DAX added 1.9 per cent. The British pound was up 1.32 Canadian cents at C$1.7505.

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