Canadian stocks settled at a three-week high Friday, led by financial and mining issues as eurozone worries eased further after German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande said they would do everything possible to protect the region.
Investor sentiments improved on further stimulus hopes as the joint statement from the two leaders came on heels of a similar comment by European Central Bank President Mario Draghi yesterday. The comments also raised hopes that the ECB would likely take drastic measures to tackle the debt situation in the region at its upcoming meeting next week.
Toronto's main index, the S&P/TSX, closed Friday at 11,766.25, up 126.50 points or 1.09 percent. The S&P/TSX Composite Index touched an intraday high of 11,802.51 and a low of 11,640.22.
For the week, the TSX gained about 2.3 percent.
Almost all components of the S&P/TSX Index were in positive territory with the exception of the Real Estate Index and the Utilities Index.
The Energy Index gained 1.84 percent with U.S. crude oil futures for September delivery, up $0.74 or 0.8 percent to close at $90.13 a barrel Friday on the NYMEX.
ARC Resources (ARX.TO) moved up 4.91 percent, while Talisman Energy Inc. (TLM.TO) gained 5.74 percent. Encana Corp. (ECA.TO) gathered 4.72 percent, Canadian Natural Resources Limited (CNQ.TO) was up 1.11 percent, and Suncor Energy Inc. (SU.TO) edged up 0.09 percent.
Niko Resources (NKO.TO) gained almost 8 percent, while Celtic Exploration (CLT.TO) spiked 8.42 percent.
Progress Energy Resources Corp. (PRQ.TO) surged 13.79 percent to C$22.42 after Petronas International Corporation Ltd raised its offer price for the company from C$20.45 per share to C$22.00 per share.
The Financial Index was up 1.53 percent with Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) up 1.73 percent, Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) up 1.44 percent, and Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) gaining 1.43 percent.
The Metals & Mining Index jumped 2.51 percent with Lundin Mining Corp. (LUN.TO) up 0.69 percent, Teck Resources Limited (TCK.B.TO) up 2.80 percent, Inmet Mining Corp. (IMN.TO) up 1.53 percent, and First Quantum Minerals Ltd. (FM.TO) gathered 2.93 percent.
The Global Gold Index gained 0.19 percent, with gold futures for August delivery moving up $2.90 or 0.2 percent to close at $1,618.00 an ounce Friday on the NYMEX. The Capped Materials Index gained 0.80 percent.
Among gold stocks, Kinross Gold Corp. (K.TO) gained 0.59 percent, while Barrick Gold Corp. (ABX.TO) dropped 1.66 percent. Agnico-Eagle Mines Ltd. (AEM.TO) moved up 1.90 percent, while Goldcorp Inc. (G.TO) edged down 0.14 percent.
Eldorado Gold (ELD.TO) gathered 5.51 percent despite reporting a much lower second-quarter net income of $46.6 million or $0.07 per share compared to $74.9 million or $0.14 per share in the same period last year. The company also lowered its 2012 gold production guidance to 660,000 ounces from 730,000 to 775,000 ounces estimated previously.
Fertilizer maker Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc. (POT.TO) gained 0.75 percent.
Transportation systems maker Bombardier Inc. (BBD.B.TO) slipped 0.82 percent, while Blackberry maker Research In Motion Limited (RIM.TO) gained 5.11 percent.
Transportation and logistics services provider TransForce Inc. (TFI.TO) gained 6.27 percent after posting higher second quarter net income of C$34.1 million or C$0.34 per share.
Integrated wood products company Tembec Inc. (TMB.TO) moved up 5.71 percent despite slipping a third quarter loss of C$5 million or C$0.05 per share from a profit last year.
TransCanada Corp. (TRP.TO) added 0.11 percent after posting a second quarter profit of C$272 million or C$0.39 per share, but lower than C$353 million or C$0.50 per share a year ago.
Independent power producer Capital Power Corp. (CPX.TO) eased 3.89 percent after reporting a second quarter net loss of $32 million or $0.57 per share that widened from $25 million or $0.67 per share last year. However, adjusted earnings were C$5 million or C$0.07 per share, with analysts expected a loss of C$0.25 per share for the quarter.
Canadian stock market operator TMX Group Inc. (X.TO) reported a sharply lower second-quarter profit that declined to C$1.8 million from C$54.7 million in the year ago quarter. On a per share basis, earnings were C$0.02, down from C$0.73 in the prior year quarter. The stock slipped 0.26 percent.
Electronics products company Celestica Inc. (CLS.TO) jumped 7.17 percent after reporting earnings of $45.7 million or $0.21 per share. Adjusted earnings were $0.27 per share, analysts expecting a loss of C$0.24 per share for the quarter.
Paper products company Domtar Corp. (UFS.TO) shed 1.88 percent even after reporting a second-quarter profit that rose to $59 million or $1.61 per share, with adjusted earnings of $98 million or $2.37 per share.
In economic news from south of the border, the U.S. Commerce Department said gross domestic product grew at 1.5 percent in the second quarter. That marks a slowdown from the 2 percent growth posted for the first quarter, but a smaller contraction than most economists' prediction of just 1.2 percent growth for the quarter.
Elsewhere, unemployment rate in Spain increased in the June quarter, data from the statistical office INE showed. The employment rate rose to 24.63 percent in the second quarter from 24.44 percent in the first quarter. This was almost in line with economists' forecast of 24.65 percent.
by RTT Staff Writer
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