Toronto stocks were extending gains for a third session Thursday morning amid a rebound in commodities and varied cues from the global equity markets. A mixed batch of earnings reports from major Canadian banks and bottom fishing at lower levels, as stocks dipped to their seven-month lows early this week, helped lift trader sentiment.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index was up 36.18 points or 0.31 percent to 11,600.98, after gaining nearly 300 points or over 2 percent in the past two sessions.
Gold stocks continued to trade higher amid a rebound in bullion prices. The price of gold was recovering from its recent losses Thursday morning as the U.S. dollar halted its recent up move. Gold for June rebounded $23.20 to $1,571.60 an ounce.
Among gold plays, Centerra Gold (CG.TO) gained over 6 percent, Royal Gold (RGL.TO), Allied Nevada Gold (ANV.TO) and Detour Gold (DGC.TO) were up around 3 percent each.
The price of crude oil edged up even after reports revealed that crude oil supplies in the U.S., the largest consumer, were on the rise for a ninth straight week. Crude for July gained $1.26 to $91.16 a barrel.
In the oil patch, Pacific Rubiales Energy (PRE.TO) rose over 2 percent, while Niko Resources (NKO.TO) was slipping 2 percent.
Among financial stocks, TD Bank (TD.TO) moved up nearly 2 percent after its second quarter net income came in above consensus estimates. The bank reported a much improved second-quarter net income of C$1.62 billion or C$1.78 per share compared to C$1.34 billion or C$1.50 per share in the year-ago period. On an adjusted basis, net income rose to C$1.66 billion or C$1.82 per share from C$1.46 billion or C$1.63 per share in the prior-year quarter. Analysts were expecting the bank to report earnings C$1.78 per share for the quarter.
Meanwhile, Royal Bank (RY.TO) shed over 2 percent after posting lower second-quarter IFRS net income of C$1.51 billion, compared with last year's C$1.61 billion, with net income from continuing operations declining to C$1.56 billion from C$1.68 billion in the previous year. Consolidated IFRS earnings per share were C$0.99, down from C$1.06 in the prior-year quarter, while adjusted earnings per share from continuing operations improved to C$1.14 from last year's C$1.12.
Smart phone maker Research In Motion (RIM.TO) slumped 3 percent as Patrick Spence, head of global sales, resigned after serving for about 14 years in RIM.
Industrial automated machinery maker ATS Automation Tooling Systems (ATA.TO) posted lower fourth-quarter profit of C$10.9 million or C$0.13 per share compared to C$14.4 million or C$0.17 per share last year. The stock was down nearly 2 percent.
In economic news from south of the border, the U.S Labor Department said new unemployment claims for the week ending May 19 came in at a seasonally adjusted level of 370,000, a slight decline from the previous week's revised level of 372,000. The previous week had initially showed new unemployment claims holding level at 370,000 from the week before, so the revisions mark a slight increase. Nevertheless the report for May 19 still comes in below the expectations of most economists, who predicted a slight increase to 371,000.
Simultaneously, the Commerce Department said that durable goods orders edged up by 0.2 percent in April after tumbling by 3.7 percent in March. The steep drop reported for March reflected a revision from the 4.2 percent decrease that had been reported previously. Excluding a 2.1 percent increase in orders for transportation equipment, durable goods orders fell by 0.6 percent in April compared to a 0.8 percent decrease in March.
From the euro zone, German economy expanded 0.5 percent quarter-on-quarter in the first quarter as estimated in the preliminary report, detailed report from the Federal Statistical Office showed. The gross domestic product rose 0.5 percent from the prior quarter, when it fell 0.2 percent. Positive contributions came mainly from exports.
A separate report from the Markit Economics showed that euro zone private sector activity downturn worsened to a three-year low in May after the economy narrowly escaped a recession in the first quarter. The growth-engine of the 17-nation bloc Germany also returned to a negative zone. Intensifying the downturn, France's private sector shrank at the fastest since April 2009. In the rest of the euro zone, the pace of contraction remained severe.
by RTT Staff Writer
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