Jul 26, 2012 / 6:18 am
The Toronto stock market was set for a strong open with traders feeling more optimistic that the eurozone debt crisis is under control.
Equity futures and commodity prices shot higher following a report that European Central Bank president said the institution is ready to step up to protect the euro.
Mario Draghi, in London for an investment conference, said that the "ECB is ready to do whatever it takes to preserve the euro. And believe me, it will be enough."
The Canadian dollar surged 0.65 of a cent to 99.15 cents US.
U.S. futures also ran ahead with the Dow Jones industrial futures up 123 points to 12,760, the Nasdaq climbed 31.25 points to 2,574.75 and the S&P 500 futures gained 15.3 points to 1,350.2.
The eurozone debt crisis has weighed on markets for over two years. Greece, Portugal and Ireland, all countries saddled with huge debts, have been forced to seek bailouts. The crisis has more recently moved to Italy and Spain, which have been forced to pay ever higher yields in order to finance their debts.
Market-watchers took Draghi's comment as a signal that the ECB could be more willing to intervene in markets to lower those borrowing rates, which the bank has in recent months said is not part of its mandate.
Market sentiment had also been given a boost already on Wednesday, when ECB policymaker Ewald Nowotny suggested that Europe,s bailout fund could be given a banking license. That would give it the ability to borrow money from the ECB. Such a move would be of particular significant for Spain and Italy as the current bailout fund does not have enough money to rescue them both.
The yield on Spain's 10-year government bonds declined following Draghi's comments, moving down to 7.04 per cent from 7.36 per cent. Still, anything over seven per cent is considered unsustainable in the long run and there was plenty of skepticism that the crisis has turned a corner.
"We have heard this type of aggressive rhetoric before and look where we are," observed Ian Pollick, Fixed Income Strategist at RBC Dominion Securities.
"It is worth taking these comments with a hint of optimism and a hint of skepticism."
Commodities advanced with September crude on the New York Mercantile Exchange ahead 70 cents to US$89.67 a barrel.
Copper gained five cents to US$3.42 a pound while bullion gained $9.80 to US$1,617.90 an ounce.
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