Historic milestone for Toronto Stock Exchange

May 21st, 2008 - 12:28 pm ICT by admin  

By Gurmukh Singh
Toronto, May 21 (IANS) North America’s third largest stock exchange here - the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) - reached a milestone Tuesday when it crossed the 15,000-mark for the first time its more 150 years old history. Fuelled by global oil prices which reached $130 a barrel, the TSX index stood at 15,047.34 at the end of the historic day.

The Toronto Stock Exchange has the world’s largest number of more than 400 oil and gas companies listed on it.

With energy prices soaring 50 percent since the beginning of 2008, the Toronto Stock Exchange has risen almost 25 per cent since January when it hit a new low thanks to the sub-prime mortgage crisis in the US.

Amid forecasts of global economic downturn and its largest trading partner (the US) almost in recession, the Canadian economy has been able to defy the downward trend thanks to high oil and commodities prices.

On the downside, oil and commodities have sent its dollar soaring, hitting the manufacturing, technology, housing, retail and tourism sectors.

As an economist with a Canadian bank said, it is a bizarre case of a soaring stock market, and a flat economy. He said the stock market was all about “oil and commodities play”, not the true picture of the economy.

With high oil and commodity prices driving the Canadian dollar up and the US dollar down, the Canadian tourism sector has been the worst hit as the Americans account for the bulk of the visitors coming here.

In fact, the numbers of all foreigner visitors to Canada have touched an all-time low. Releasing figures for the month of March Tuesday, Statistics Canada reported a 12.4 percent decrease in tourist traffic, compared to March 2007.

It said only 2.3 million foreign visitors came to Canada - the lowest for the month of March in 35 years.

About the US, the report said, “US residents made only 730,000 trips in March, down 2.5 per cent from the previous month. During the past two years. Same-day car travel to Canada has fallen by 41.1 percent.”

Interestingly, the number of Indian visitors has increased marginally in these tight times for the Canadian tourism industry.

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