Supported by buying in commodities, Canadian stocks were extending gains for a fifth straight session Thursday morning. Traders now look to corporate earnings report, with little focus on the euro zone debt situation, even after a debt auction in Spain disappointed investors that sent the yield on the Spanish 10-year notes above the crucial 7 percent level.
In corporate news from the U.S, Morgan Stanley (MS) swung to profit in second-quarter, reporting net income of $564 million or $0.29 per share, compared to a net loss of $558 million or $0.38 per share a year ago. Analysts expected the company to report earnings of $0.43 per share this quarter.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index rose 58.64 or 0.51 percent to 11,637.79, after adding just over 150 points or 1 percent in the past four straight sessions.
The Diversified Materials Index was the major gainer, adding over 3 percent. First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO) gained nearly 8 percent. Inmet Mining (IMN.TO) and Teck Resources (TCK_B.TO) gathered around 2 percent each.
The price of crude oil was steady above the $90-mark for the first time in seven weeks Thursday morning. Crude for August moved up $1.93 to $91.80 a barrel.
In the oil patch, Ensign Energy (ESI.TO) and Trican Well Services (TCW.TO) gathered around 5 percent each.
The price of gold was moving higher Thursday morning as the U.S. dollar was trading lower versus a basket of currencies amid weekly jobless claims data. Gold for August gained $15.20 to $1,586.00 an ounce.
Among gold plays, Kirkland Lake Gold (KGI.TO) gathered 6 percent. Agnico-Eagle Mines (AEM.TO) and Detour Gold (DGC.TO) moved up around 3 percent each.
Retail drug stores operator Shoppers Drug Mart Corp. (SC.TO) edged up 0.70 percent after posting second-quarter net earnings of C$146 million or C$0.70 per share versus C$148 million or C$0.68 per share a year ago. Analysts were expecting the company to report earnings of C$0.70 per share. The company further declared a dividend of 26.5 cents per common share.
Meanwhile, fertilizer maker Potash Corp. (POT.TO) slipped nearly 2 percent and Telecommunications services provider Glentel Inc. (GLN.TO) was down 6 percent
Grocery dealer Colabor Group Inc. (GCL.TO) slipped 1 percent even after reporting improved second quarter net earnings of C$2.90 million or C$0.13 per basic share compared to C$1.68 million or C$0.07 per basic share last year. Analysts were expecting the company to report earnings of C$0.11 per share.
In economic news, Statistics Canada said wholesale sales rose 0.9 percent in May to $49.8 billion, largely due to higher sales in the computer and communications equipment and supplies industry, the motor vehicle industry and the food industry. In volume terms, wholesale sales were up 0.4 percent in May. Economists expected a 0.3 percent jump in sales during the month of May.
From south of the border, the U.S. Labor Department said jobless claims jumped to 386,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 352,000. Economists had expected jobless claims to climb to 365,000 from the 350,000 originally reported for the previous week.
Separately, the National Association of Realtors said existing home sales fell 5.4 percent to an annual rate of 4.37 million in June from an upwardly revised 4.62 million in May. The drop surprised economists, who had expected existing home sales to climb to 4.65 million from the 4.55 million originally reported for the previous month.
Elsewhere, the euro zone current account surplus increased in May following a sharp decline in April, a report from the European Central Bank showed. The seasonally adjusted current account surplus rose to EUR 10.9 billion in May from EUR 5.5 billion in April.
Meanwhile, data from the Office for National Statistics revealed U.K. retail sales increased at a slower than expected pace in June. Including automotive fuel, retail sales grew only 0.1 percent month-on-month, slower than the 1.5 percent rise in May and 0.6 percent growth forecast by economists.
by RTT Staff Writer
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