Major equity markets strengthened as Democrats won a slim majority in the U.S. Senate raising prospects for more stimulus. Long-term government bonds yields rose sharply as both the U.S dollar and gold prices declined. Energy prices strengthened.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index strengthened as all sectors advanced. Health-care rallied on hopes for federal marijuana decriminalization in the U.S. Energy also posted robust gains. The December jobs report showed Canada lost 63k jobs amid renewed lockdown measures last month, however, investors remained optimistic about the post-vaccine economic recovery. The S&P 500 Index (C$) strengthened led by commodity sectors and financials. Health-care and discretionary also posted robust gains. Rate-sensitive sectors (REITs and utilities) declined.
US economic data was mixed. Manufacturing and services activity posted unexpected gains but the December jobs report showed a sharp pullback in payrolls. The latter buoyed hopes for more stimulus.
The MSCI EAFE Index (C$) strengthened led by commodity sectors, utilities, and financials. The U.K. outperformed as manufacturing activity rose to the highest level since November 2017. Eurozone manufacturing activity also strengthened rising to the highest level since May 2018.