Canadian stocks were hovering in the positive territory Tuesday morning after encouraging economic growth data out of Europe, with Germany recording second quarter growth marginally ahead of expectations and France avoiding a recession.
Further, today's data form the U.S., Canada's largest trading partner, revealed an unexpectedly strong rebound in July retail sales.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index gained 44.00 points or 0.37 percent to 11,882.23, a day after snapping its two-session winning streak.
The price of crude oil was ticking higher Tuesday morning amid a generally weak U.S. dollar and on hopes for further stimulus measures from the ECB. Crude for September gained $0.65 to $93.38 a barrel.
In the oil patch, Baytex Energy Corp. (BTE.TO) added over 1 percent after reporting improved second-quarter net income of C$157.28 million or C$1.30 per share versus C$106.86 million or C$0.90 per share a year ago.
Celtic Exploration (CLT.TO) gained 2 percent, while Imperial Oil (IMO.TO) was adding nearly 1 percent.
On the other hand, international oil and gas company Niko Resources Ltd. (NKO.TO) lost about 4 percent after reporting a wider first-quarter net loss of $92.12 million or $1.78 per share compared to $54.98 million or percent1.07 per share in the year ago quarter.
The price of gold was moving lower even as the euro continued to strengthen after economic growth data out of Europe. Gold for December shed $9.50 to $1,603.10 an ounce.
Global gold miner Iamgold Corp. (IMG.TO) gained close to 3 percent after reporting improved second-quarter adjusted net earnings of $74.0 million or $0.20 per share compared to $67.7 million or $0.18 per basic share in the second quarter 2011. Analysts were expecting the company to report earnings of $0.20 per share for the quarter. For fiscal 2012, Iamgold reiterated its outlook for total attributable gold production in the range of 840,000 to 910,000 ounces and average gold price of $1,700 per ounce.
Factory automation systems company ATS Automation Tooling Systems (ATA.TO) edged up 0.25 percent after it swung to profit in first-quarter, reporting net income of C$9.8 million or C$0.11 per share compared to a loss of C$5.0 million or C$0.06 per share in the year ago quarter. Net income from continuing operations was C$11.8 million or C$0.13 per share compared to net income from continuing operations of C$6.2 million or C$0.07 per share. Analysts were expecting the company to report earnings of C$0.13 per share.
Electrical equipment and component maker Ballard Power Systems (BLD.TO) shed 1 percent even after reporting that its second quarter net loss narrowed to $6.6 million or $0.08 per share from $8.6 million or $0.10 per share in the prior year quarter.
Packaging and tissue products company Cascades Inc. (CAS.TO) said its closed Cascades Tissue Group plant located in Scarborough (McNicoll Street) in Toronto as part of its consolidation of operations. The stock slipped 0.50 percent.
Utilities company Capstone Infrastructure Corp. (CSE.TO) lost nearly 2 percent after reporting a decline in its second quarter adjusted funds from operations at C$3.7 million or C$0.049 per share compared to C$4.7 million or C$0.076 per share in the same period last year.
In economic news from the U.S., the Commerce Department said retail sales were up 0.8 percent in July to a seasonally adjusted level of $403.9 billion, a notably stronger growth than the 0.3 percent predicted by most economists. However, June retail sales figures which had initially shown a 0.5 percent decline, were revised even further down to show a 0.7 percent drop for that month.
Elsewhere, the euro zone economy contracted in the second quarter as expected by economists, flash estimate from Eurostat showed. Gross domestic product of the 17-nation currency bloc fell 0.2 percent from the prior quarter after staying flat in the first quarter. On a yearly basis, the economy shrank 0.4 percent after stagnating in the prior quarter. The annual fall also matched economists' expectations.
Earlier today, preliminary estimates from the Federal Statistical Office revealed that the German economy expanded more than expected in the second quarter.
by RTT Staff Writer
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