Canadian stocks settled at a one-month high Wednesday, led mostly by financial and energy issues, after some mixed economic data from the U.S. Investors also weighed the possibility of further quantitative easing in the near future, which seem to have dimmed with the release of some data during the week.
U.S. consumer prices unexpectedly came in unchanged for July, while industrial production rose more than anticipated. As well, homebuilder confidence in the U.S. unexpectedly continued to improve in August.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index closed Wednesday at 11,905.44, up 51.83 points or 0.44 percent. The Index touched an intraday high of 11,914.76 and a low of 11,841.57.
The Metals & Mining Index was down 0.17 percent, with Teck Resources Limited (TCK.B.TO) up 0.14 percent, Lundin Mining Corp. (LUN.TO) down 0.22 percent, Osisko Mining Corp. (OSK.TO) up 2.54 percent, and First Quantum Minerals Ltd. (FM.TO) up 0.42 percent..
The Financial Index gained 0.63 percent with Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) up 1.42 percent, Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) gained 0.63 percent, and Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) moved up 1.05 percent. However, Manulife Financial Corp. (MFC.TO) shed 0.44 percent.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration's weekly crude oil report showed U.S. commercial crude oil inventories to have decreased 3.70 million barrels to 366.20 million barrels last week, but above the upper limit of average for this time of year. Total motor gasoline inventories dropped 2.40 million barrels last week and was in the lower half of the average range.
The Energy Index gained 0.30 percent with U.S. crude oil futures for September delivery gaining $0.90 or 1 percent to close at $94.33 a barrel Wednesday on the NYMEX.
Among energy stocks, Canadian Natural Resources Limited (CNQ.TO) moved up 0.49 percent, Encana Corp. (ECA.TO) shed 1.16 percent, and Progress Energy Resources Corp. (PRQ.TO) edged up 0.32 percent.
The Global Gold Index edged up 0.27 percent, with gold futures for December delivery adding $4.20 or 0.3 percent to close at $1,606.60 an ounce Wednesday on the NYMEX. The Capped Materials Index gained 0.54 percent.
Among gold stocks, Eldorado Gold Corp. (ELD.TO) moved up 1.08 percent, Kinross Gold (K.TO) gained 1.33 percent, and Barrick Gold Corp. (ABX.TO) gathered 1.12 percent.
Among heavyweights, fertilizer maker Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc. (POT.TO) gained 0.89 percent, while aerospace and transportation company Bombardier Inc. (BBD.A.TO, BBD.B.TO) moved up 0.28 percent. Smartphone maker Research In Motion (RIM.TO) shed 0.67 percent.
Forbes Energy Services Ltd. (FRB.TO) dived 18 percent after reporting poor second quarter financial results.
Petroleum and natural gas company Canadian Energy Services & Technology Corp. (CEU.TO), slipped 0.38 percent after reporting a decline in second quarter profit. Analysts expected the company to earn C$0.12 per share for the quarter.
Metal products company Martinrea International Inc. (MRE.TO) shed over 6 percent after reporting second-quarter net earnings of C$14.4 million or C$0.17 per share, adjusted earnings increase of C$24.1 million or C$0.29 per share last year. Analysts expected the company the report earnings of C$0.31 per share for the quarter.
Metal mining company HudBay Minerals, Inc. (HBM.TO) dropped $8.13 million said its second-quarter loss narrowed to C$30.4 million or C$0.17 per share from C$171.9 million or C$0.97 per share in the same period last year. Loss from continuing operations was C$30.4 million, compared to a profit of C$41.1 million last year. Analysts were expecting the company the report earnings of C$0.08 per share for the quarter. The stock was down 2.46percent.
Base-metals miner Capstone Mining Corp. (CS.TO) lost 0.44 percent after reporting second-quarter net earnings was $12.5 million or $0.03 per share. Adjusted net earnings were $15.1 million or $0.04 per share. Analysts expected the company to report earnings of $0.03 per share in the quarter.
Meanwhile, precious metals miner High River Gold Mines Ltd. (HRG.TO) added 1.44 percent even after reporting a lower second-quarter profit of C$31.6 million or C$0.04 per sharer.
In economic news from south of the border, U.S. consumer prices unexpectedly came in unchanged for July, with continued drop in energy prices offset by higher prices for food, shelter and medical care, a Labor Department report showed Wednesday. The consumer price index for July indicated prices were unchanged for a second consecutive month. Economists expected prices to edge up by about 0.2 percent.
Industrial production in the U.S. rose by slightly more than anticipated in the month of July by 0.6 percent compared to economists' estimates of around 0.5 percent increase, data from the Federal Reserve said Wednesday. The rise was attributed to increased output in the manufacturing, mining, and utilities sectors.
Conditions for New York manufacturers have unexpectedly deteriorated in August, a report by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York indicated Wednesday. The New York Fed's general business conditions index dropped to a negative 5.9 in August from a positive 7.4 in July, with a negative reading indicating contraction in regional manufacturing activity. Economists expected the index to decrease to 7.0. The index of regional manufacturing activity turning negative for the first time in ten months.
Homebuilder confidence in the U.S. has unexpectedly continued to improve in August, the National Association of Home Builders report showed on Wednesday, with the confidence index reaching a new five-year high. The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index climbed to 37 in August from 35 in July. Economists expected the index to come in unchanged compared to the previous month.
In the U.K., Bank of England policymakers unanimously decided to retain quantitative easing at GBP 375 billion and the interest rate unchanged at 0.50 percent, the minutes of the meeting held on August 1 and 2 showed today.
Data from the Office for National Statistics revealed the number of Britons claiming jobless benefits unexpectedly declined in July. The claims declined by 5,900 monthly to 1.59 million in July. Economists expected jobless claims to climb by 6,000. The measure was higher by 35,600 person from a year ago.
by RTT Staff Writer
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