Canadian stocks rebounded to close higher Wednesday, taking cue from other global equity markets, snapping a five-day losing streak. Global equity markets rallied after eurozone concerns eased with yields on government bonds improving and on hopes of continued support from the ECB.
Toronto stocks closed at their lowest for the year yesterday, after some soft trade data out of China and disappointing jobs data from the US last week renewed global economic growth concerns.
Concerns over the eurozone debt problems eased somewhat after comments by an European Central Bank member refueled speculation that the bank might renew its bond-buying program. As well, yields on Italian government bonds declined from yesterday's high levels.
Toronto's main index, the S&P/TSX, closed Wednesday at 12,026.76, up 91.47 points or 0.77 percent. The S&P/TSX Composite Index touched an intraday high of 12,056.82 and a low of 11,939.96.
The TSX Venture Index closed at 1,435.12, an increase of 4.02 points or 0.28 percent. The index opened at 1,437.78 compared to its previous close of 1,431.10.
Most major components of the S&P/TSX Index were in positive territory, with the exception of the the Materials and Global Gold Indices.
Among major gainers were the Energy Index up 1.47 percent as crude prices rebounded from recent losses, while metals prices helped drive the Diversified Metals and Mining Index up 1.67 percent.
The Financial Index gained 0.80 percent with Manulife Financial Corp. (MFC.TO) up 2.18 percent, Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) up 0.63 percent, and Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) gathered 0.97 percent.
The Diversified Metals & Mining Index was driven by First Quantum Minerals Ltd. (FM.TO) up 2.18 percent and Keegan Resources Inc. (KGN.TO) advancing 1.27 percent. Teck Resources Ltd. (TCK_B.TO) gained 1.64 percent, while Lundin Mining Corp. (LUN.TO) rose 2.62 percent.
The Energy Index advanced as Light Sweet Crude Oil futures for May, gained $1.68 or 1.7 percent to close at $102.70 a barrel on the NYMEX Wednesday.
The Energy Information Administration (EIA) report for week ended April 6 showed crude oil inventories increased by 2.8 million barrels, which was more than analysts expectations of 1.8 million barrels rise in the week. However, gasoline inventories declined 4.3 million, while analysts anticipated supplies to decline 1.25 million barrels.
Among energy stocks, Suncor Energy Inc. gained 1.48 percent, Canadian Natural Resources Limited (CNQ.TO) moved up 1.21 percent, and Nexen Inc. (NXY.TO) gained 3.10 percent. Encana Corp. (ECA.TO) surrendered 0.88 percent, while Talisman Energy Inc. (TLM.TO) slipped 0.41 percent.
Smartphone maker Research In Motion (RIM.TO) edged up 0.77 percent, while transportation systems maker Bombardier (BBD.B.TO) shed 0.51 percent.
Gold stocks were down with futures for June delivery shedding $0.40 to close at $1,660.30 an ounce Wednesday on the NYMEX. The Global Gold Index dropped 1.43 percent.
Among gold stocks, Sulliden Gold Corporation Ltd. (SUE.TO) shed 3.54 percent, Lake Shore Gold Corp. (LSG.TO) plunged 7.45 percent, Goldcorp. (G.TO) dropped 2.02 percent. Kinross Gold Corp. (K.TO) was down 2.02 percent, while Barrick Gold Corp. (ABX.TO) lost 1.17 percent.
The Materials Index dropped 0.62 percent mostly on losses from gold mining stocks. Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc. (POT.TO) dropping 0.21 percent, while Uranium One Inc. (UUU.TO) gained 5.10 percent. Eastern Platinum Limited (ELR.TO) gained 1.35 percent.
In earnings news, Dollarama Inc. (DOL.TO) posted fourth-quarter net earnings of C$63.61 million or C$0.84 per share versus C$42.03 million or C$0.56 per share a year ago. Dollarama shares were up almost 7 percent.
In economic news, Canadian housing starts unexpectedly rose in March, confirming that the nation's robust housing market remains resilient despite concerns about the global economy.
The seasonally adjusted annual rate of housing starts was 215,600 units in March, as per Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) Wednesday. This is up from 205,300 units in February, and above expectations for a rate of 202,000.
In economic news, figures released Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Labor showed prices of goods imported into the country surged in March, driven mainly by higher prices in both the fuel and non-fuel sectors. Overall import prices in March increased 1.3 percent, the largest monthly rise since April 2011. Most economists expected the increase to come in at 1 percent.
From the eurozone, Germany's wholesale price inflation slowed for the second consecutive month in March, data from the Federal Statistical Office showed. The wholesale price index increased 2.2 percent on an annual basis in March, slower than the 2.6 percent growth seen in February. In January and December, the index rose 3 percent each.
by RTT Staff Writer
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