Canadian stocks settled higher Friday, driven mostly on hopes of quantitative easing by central banks globally, supported by mining and tech issues, notwithstanding some soft trade data out of China indicative of sluggish growth in the second largest economy in the world. Toronto stocks also brushed aside some weak jobs data out of Canada.
China's export and import growth slowed more than expected in July, adding to a string of downbeat data released this week. The data paints a bleak economic picture, especially as the world's second largest economy has seen its GDP growth ease to the lowest in more than three years in the second quarter.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index closed Friday at 11,890.89, an increase of 32.76 points or 0.28 percent. The Index touched an intraday high of 11,890.89 and a low of 11,816.71.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index gained 2 percent for the week.
The Metals & Mining Index gained 0.75 percent, with Teck Resources Limited (TCK.B.TO) up 2.82 percent and First Quantum Minerals Ltd. (FM.TO) up 1.06 percent. Lundin Mining Corp. (LUN.TO) shed 0.22 percent.
The Financial Index edged up 0.24 percent with Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) up 0.10 percent, Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) down 0.10 percent, and Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) up 0.37 percent. Manulife Financial Corp. (MFC.TO) gained 0.55 percent.
Crude oil ended lower on demand concerns after the International Energy Agency trimmed its 2013 oil demand outlook by 0.40 mbd on weaker economic growth assumptions. For the year 2012, the IEA has now forecast oil demand growth of 0.90 mbd to 89.60 mbd.
The Energy Index shed 0.40 percent with U.S. crude oil futures for September delivery dropping $0.49 or 0.5 percent to close at $92.87 a barrel Friday on the NYMEX.
Among energy stocks, Canadian Natural Resources Limited (CNQ.TO) shed 1.43 percent, Suncor Energy Inc. (SU.TO) lost 0.41 percent, and Crescent Point Energy Corp. (CPG.TO) was down 3.07 percent. Encana Corp. (ECA.TO) moved up 0.09 percent, while Pacific Rubiales Energy (PRE.TO) soared 4.84 percent.
The Global Gold Index moved up 0.66 percent, with gold futures for December delivery gaining $2.60 or 0.2 percent to close at $1,622.80 an ounce Friday on the NYMEX. The Capped Materials Index gained 0.69 percent.
Among gold stocks, Kinross Gold (K.TO) gained 2.13 percent, Yamana Gold Inc. (YRI.TO) was up 0.26 percent, Barrick Gold Corp. (ABX.TO) was up 1.15 percent, and Eldorado Gold Corp. (ELD.TO) gained 1.25 percent. Avion Gold Corp (AVR.TO) shed 1.43 percent.
Among heavyweights, fertilizer maker Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc. (POT.TO) moved up 1.01 percent, while aerospace and transportation company Bombardier Inc. (BBD_A.TO, BBD_B.TO) shed 2.18 percent. Smartphone maker Research In Motion (RIM.TO) jumped 6.35 percent amid reports that IBM is eying its enterprise unit.
Oil and natural gas company Legacy Oil + Gas Inc. (LEG.TO) reported higher second-quarter funds from operations of C$47.42 million or C$0.33 per share compared to C$40.50 million or C$0.28 per share in the year ago quarter. The stock shed 3.98 percent.
Conventional oil and gas company NuVista Energy Ltd. (NVA.TO) gained 2.98 percent despite slipping into the red reporting second-quarter net loss of $85.4 million or $0.86 per share compared to a profit of $22.4 million or $0.23 per share in the year-earlier quarter. Adjusted loss was $14.7 million or $0.15 per share, compared to $2.6 million or $0.03 per share in the same period last year.
Crude oil and natural gas transporter Pembina Pipeline Corp. (PPL.TO) reported improved second quarter net profit of C$80.4 million compared to C$48.0 million last year. On a per-share basis, earnings declined to C$0.28 from C$0.29 on higher share count. The stock surrendered 1.36 percent.
Global energy services company ShawCor Ltd. (SCL_A.TO, SCL_B.TO) shed 1.2 percent even after reporting second-quarter net income of C$21.40 million or C$0.30 per share, compared to C$15.70 million or C$0.21 per share in the previous year quarter.
Precious metals miner Osisko Mining Corp. (OSK.TO) swung to profit in second-quarter, reporting net income of C$13.3 million or C$0.03 per share, compared to a net loss of C$23.8 million or C$0.06 per share in the comparable quarter last year. Analysts were expecting the company to report earnings of $0.07 per share this quarter. The stock dipped 3.34 percent.
Automotive supplier Magna International Inc. (MG.TO) moved up 5.05 percent after reporting a 24 percent increase in profit for the second quarter and affirmed its sales outlook for fiscal 2012.
Silver Wheaton Corp. (SLW.TO) moved up 0.30 percent despite reporting a lower second quarter net income at $141.4 million or $0.40 per share compared to $148.1 million or $0.42 per share in the same period last year. Analysts expected the company to earn $0.37 per share this quarter.
Software solutions provider Open Text Corp. (OTC.TO) soared 10.46 percent even after reporting a sharp slump in fourth-quarter profit at $7.97 million or $0.14 per share compared to $28.59 million or $0.49 per share in the same quarter last year. However, non-GAAP earnings rose to $1.17 per share from $1.05 per share in the year ago quarter, missing consensus estimates at $1.16 per share for the quarter.
Wood products company Stella-Jones Inc. (SJ.TO) gathered 3.26 percent after it said its second-quarter net income grew to C$20.84 million or C$1.30 per share, from C$17.27 million or C$1.08 per share a year before. Analysts were expecting the company to report earnings per share of C$1.22 for the quarter.
Renewable energy company Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp. (AQN.TO) moved up 0.90 percent even after reporting lower second-quarter net earnings of $6.1 million or $0.04 per share compared to $7.3 million or $0.07 per share last year. Adjusted net earnings were $6.9 million or $0.05 per share compared to $8.2 million or $0.07 per share last year. Analysts were expecting the company to report earnings of $0.04 per share for the quarter.
In economic news, Statistics Canada said employment in July declined by 30,000, resulting in a 0.1 percentage points rise in unemployment, which now stands at 7.3 percent. However, on a yearly basis employment increased 0.8 percent or 139,000.
China's exports grew just 1 percent year-on-year in July, decelerating from the 11.3 percent growth reported for June, figures from the General Administration of Customs showed Friday. Economists had forecast a relatively modest slowdown to 8 percent.
Chinese imports also rose at a slower rate in July. Overseas purchases increased at a pace of 4.7 percent year-on-year compared to a 6.3 percent rise in June. Economists expected import growth to pick up to a 7 percent pace.
In other economic news, U.S. import prices unexpectedly decreased in July, a report by the Labor Department showed, but indicated an unexpected increase in export prices. Import prices fell by 0.6 percent after tumbling by 2.4 percent in June. The continued drop surprised economists, who had expected import prices to increase by 0.2 percent.
From the eurozone, Germany's EU harmonized inflation came in below the preliminary estimates In July, final data released by the Federal Statistical Office showed. The harmonized index of consumer prices measured under the EU methodology, increased 1.9 percent annually in July, slightly slower than the 2 percent gain estimated earlier. In June, the inflation rate was 2 percent.
by RTT Staff Writer
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