Canadian stocks settled sharply higher Friday, enthused by positive developments at the European Summit with traders picking-up stocks across most sectors, while pushing the resource-heavy main index up near a two-week high. In Brussels, European leaders agreed to take measures to bring down Italy's and Spain's spiraling borrowing costs and create a single supervisory body for eurozone banks by the year end.
As well, investors digested news that Canada's economic growth accelerated for a second month in April, with the GDP edging up 0.3 percent.
Toronto's main index, the S&P/TSX, closed Friday at 11,596.56, up 171.86 points or 1.50 percent. The S&P/TSX Composite Index touched an intraday high of 11,629.62 and a low of 11,483.83.
The TSX Venture Index closed at 1,191.61, up 27.14 points or 2.33 percent. The index opened at 1,184.73 compared to its previous close of 1,164.47.
Almost all components of the S&P/TSX Index were firmly in positive territory, with the exception of Information Technology Index that was dragged down by Research In Motion.
The Information Technology Index plunged 2.89 percent, as Research In Motion Limited (RIM.TO) plummeted over 20 percent after reporting a first quarter net loss that came in much wider than consensus estimates. The smartphone maker reported a swing to loss in the first quarter, on hefty impairment charges with sales plunging 43 percent.
The Diversified Materials Index was the major gainer adding 4.69 percent with Lundin Mining Corp. (LUN.TO) soaring 8.21 percent and Teck Resources Limited (TCK.B.TO) gaining over 4 percent. First Quantum Minerals Ltd. (FM.TO) was up 3.75 percent, while Inmet Mining Corp. (IMN.TO) gained 7.14 percent.
U.S. crude oil futures for August delivery, surged $7.27 or 9.6 percent to close at $84.96 a barrel Friday on the NYMEX.
The Energy Index moved up 2.78 percent with Suncor Energy Inc. (SU.TO) up 3.60 percent and Canadian Natural Resources Limited (CNQ.TO) gathering 3.25 percent. Encana Corp. (ECA.TO) up 0.62 percent, and Talisman Energy Inc. (TLM.TO) gained 2.10 percent.
Gold futures for August delivery gained $53.80 or 3.5 percent to close at $1,604.20 an ounce Friday on the NYMEX. The Global Gold Index gained 2.06percent.
Among gold stocks, Kinross Gold Corp. (K.TO) gained close to 2 percent, while Barrick Gold Corp. (ABX.TO) moved up 2.46 percent. Goldcorp Inc. (G.TO) gained 2.73 percent.
The Materials Index gained 2.17 percent with Banro Corp. (BAA.TO) up 3.61 percent and Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc. (POT.TO) down 1.33 percent.
Silver miner Tahoe Resources Inc. (THO.TO) recovered 12.56 percent after reporting that government-proposed mining law reforms in Guatemala would not affect its Escobal project.
The Financial Index moved up 1.40 percent with Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) gained 1.88 percent, Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) was up 1.27 percent, and Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) was up 0.64 percent. Manulife Financial Corp. (MFC.TO) gained 2.97 percent.
Heavyweight transportation systems maker Bombardier Inc. (BBD.B.TO) moved up 1.01 percent.
Telecommunications equipment company EXFO Inc. (EXF.TO) edged down 3.75 percent after reporting a third quarter net loss of $3.90 million or $0.06 per share compared to a profit last year.
In economic news, Statistics Canada said economic growth accelerated for a second month, with the nation's real gross domestic product growing 0.3 percent in April, after edging up 0.1 percent in March. Most of the April increase was attributable to mining and oil and gas extraction and, to a lesser extent, wholesale trade.
In economic news from the U.S., the Commerce Department said personal income increased by $25.4 billion or 0.2 percent for May, with disposable incomes increasing by the same 0.2 percent margin. Most economists expected personal incomes to rise slightly faster, at 0.3 percent.
The Chicago-area business activity saw a modest acceleration in the pace of growth in the month of June, a report by the Institute for Supply Management - Chicago showed Friday. Nevertheless, the index of activity crept up by less what economists had expected.
The Chicago business barometer inched up to 52.9 in June from 52.7 in May, with a reading above 50 indicating an increase in activity. Economists expected the index to climb to a reading of 53.1.
Elsewhere, the eurozone annual inflation remained unchanged at 2.4 percent in June, flash estimate released by Eurostat showed. Though the rate remained comfortably above the central bank's target, the European Central Bank feels that there is no inflation risk at present in the euro area. The June inflation rate was the lowest since February 2011 and was in line with economists' expectations.
Meanwhile, German retail sales fell unexpectedly in May for the second month in a row. Sales were down by real 0.3 percent month-on-month in May, marking a second consecutive monthly fall, the latest figures from the Federal Statistical Office showed. The outcome was in contrast to expectations for an increase of 0.2 percent and follows a 0.2 percent drop in April.
by RTT Staff Writer
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