Canadian stocks ended higher for a third straight day Thursday, but only marginally, after a late rally on global cues and some encouraging economic data from the U.S. and rising commodities. Nevertheless, investor sentiments continued to be impacted with worries over the eurozone crisis and some soft economic data out of Europe.
Toronto's main index, the S&P/TSX, closed Thursday at 11,566.07, up 1.27 points or 0.01 percent. The S&P/TSX Composite Index touched an intraday high of 11,627.59 and a low of 11,472.95.
The TSX Venture Index closed at 1,282.47, up 25.99 points or 2.07 percent. The index opened at 1,264.37 compared to its previous close of 1,256.48.
Major gainers of the S&P/TSX Index were the Materials and Global Gold indices. The decliners were led by Financials Index and the Diversified Metals & Mining Index.
The Metals & Mining Index dropped 0.33 percent with Teck Resources Limited (TCK.B.TO) down 0.95 percent, while Lundin Mining Corp. (LUN.TO) gained over 1 percent. First Quantum Minerals Ltd. (FM.TO) dropped 1.17 percent, while Ivanhoe Mines (IVN.TO) gained 4.75 percent. Osisko Mining Corporation (OSK.TO) gathered 1.31 percent.
The Global Gold Index moved up 0.75 percent, with gold futures for June delivery gaining $9.10 or 0.6 percent to close at $1,557.50 an ounce Thursday on the NYMEX.
Among gold stocks, Eldorado Gold Corp. (ELD.TO) moved up 2.40 percent, Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) shed 0.12 percent, and Kinross Gold (K.TO) added 2 percent. Goldcorp. (G.TO) shed 0.05 percent, while B2Gold (BTO.TO) dropped 0.31 percent.
The Materials Index edged up 0.76 percent with Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc. (POT.TO) moving up 2.38, while Eastern Platinum Limited (ELR.TO) moved up 2.13 percent.
U.S. crude oil futures moved up Thursday, with July delivery gaining $1.95 or 2.1 percent to close at $89.90 a barrel on the NYMEX.
The Energy Index edged down 0.14 percent with Suncor Energy Inc. (SU.TO) shedding 0.56 percent, while Canadian Natural Resources Limited (CNQ.TO) dropped 0.13 percent. Encana Corp (ECA.TO) dropped 1.52 percent, and Athabasca Oil Corp. (ATH.TO) slipped 3.50 percent.
Heavyweights transportation systems maker Bombardier Inc. (BBD.B.TO) dropped 2.60 percent, while smartphone maker Research In Motion Limited (RIM) slipped 3.43 percent even as Patrick Spence, head of global sales, resigned after serving for about 14 years with the company.
The Financial Index slipped 0.73 percent, as Royal Bank (RY.TO) shed 2.87 percent after posting a lower second-quarter profit of C$1.51 billion, compared with last year's C$1.61 billion. Adjusted earnings per share from continuing operations improved to C$1.14 from last year's C$1.12.
Manulife Financial Corp. (MFC.TO) gained 1.25 percent and Sun Life Financial Inc. (SLF.TO) was up 1.79 percent.
TD Bank (TD.TO) edged up 0.33 percent after reporting a second quarter net income that came in above consensus estimates.
Industrial automated machinery maker ATS Automation Tooling Systems (ATA.TO) posted a 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 0.67 percent.
In economic news, the U.S. Labor Department said new unemployment claims for the week ended 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. Nevertheless, economists anticipated a slight increase to 371,000.
A U.S. Commerce Department report showed 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 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 eurozone, the German economy expanded 0.5 percent quarter-on-quarter in the first quarter as per a Federal Statistical Office report. Gross domestic product rose 0.5 percent from the prior quarter, when it fell 0.2 percent. Positive contributions came mainly from exports.
A report from the Markit Economics showed that eurozone 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 shrunk at its fastest since April 2009. In the rest of the eurozone, the pace of contraction remained severe.
Elsewhere in Europe, the U.K. economy slipped into a double-dip recession at a faster than estimated pace during the first quarter due to a sharp revision to construction. U.K. GDP shrunk 0.3 percent from a quarter ago, slightly bigger than the previously estimated drop of 0.2 percent, second estimates published by the Office for National Statistics revealed Thursday.
An HSBC preliminary report showed China's manufacturing activity in May is expected to contract for a seventh month in a row. The HSBC flash headline reading of manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index dipped to 48.7 in May, from a reading of 49.3 for April.
by RTT Staff Writer
For comments and feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org