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Canadian Stocks Are Climbing On Broad Strength - Canadian Commentary

The Canadian stock market is up sharply Thursday morning, following two days of losses. The majority of the Canadian sectors are trading in positive territory this morning. Industrial stocks are leading the way higher, while energy and financial stocks are also providing support.

The majority of the European markets are trading in the green Thursday. Investor sentiment received a boost from a number of positive corporate earnings reports, from companies like ABB, Schneider Electric, Publicis Groupe, Nestle and Unilever.

Market in the United States are modestly higher Thursday morning. Bargain hunting appears to be playing a role, as traders look to pick up stocks at reduced levels following the recent downward trend by the Dow, which ended the previous session at its lowest closing level in two months.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index is up 89.91 points or 0.58 percent at 15,642.79.

On Wednesday, the index closed down 69.69 points or 0.45 percent, at 15,552.88. The index scaled an intraday high of 15,683.85 and a low of 15,532.77.

The Capped Industrials Index is up 1.26 percent. Canadian National Railway (CNR.TO) is rising 1.69 percent and Canadian Pacific Railway (CP.TO) is climbing 3.58 percent. Finning International (FTT.TO) is gaining 0.37 percent.

WestJet Airlines (WJA.TO) is slipping 0.26 percent. The company announced plans to launch a new, ultra-low-cost carrier in Canada.

The Energy Index is rising 0.78 percent. Crude oil prices are up slightly Thursday morning, approaching $51 a barrel. Crude prices avoided a drop below $50 a barrel yesterday, following the release of U.S. inventory data.

Suncor Energy (SU.TO) is higher by 0.42 percent and Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) is gaining 1.95 percent. Crescent Point Energy (CPG.TO) is up 0.73 percent and Imperial Oil (IMO.TO) is climbing 0.70 percent. Encana (ECA.TO) is rising 0.87 percent and Cenovus Energy (CVE.TO) is adding 0.50 percent. Husky Energy (HSE.TO) is increasing 0.13 percent and Enbridge (ENB.TO) is advancing 0.59 percent.

The Capped Materials Index is up 0.62 percent. Agnico Eagle Mines (AEM.TO) is rising 0.49 percent and Franco-Nevada (FNV.TO) is gaining 0.12 percent. Silver Wheaton (SLW.TO) is advancing 0.77 percent and Agrium (AGU.TO) is adding 0.29 percent. Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan (POT.TO) is climbing 0.50 percent.

The heavyweight Financial Index is increasing 0.43 percent. Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) is gaining 0.65 percent and National Bank of Canada (NA.TO) is up 0.04 percent. Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO) is higher by 0.44 percent and Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) is advancing 0.53 percent. Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) is rising 0.64 percent and Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) is adding 0.67percent.

The Capped Information Technology Index is gaining 0.46 percent. Sierra Wireless (SW.TO) is up 0.18 percent and BlackBerry (BB.TO) is rising 0.66 percent. Descartes Systems Group (DSG.TO) is adding 0.39 percent and Constellation Software (CSU.TO) is increasing 0.60 percent.

The Gold Index is advancing 0.41 percent. Gold prices are trading slightly lower Thursday morning despite lingering geopolitical concerns.

IAMGOLD (IMG.TO) is climbing 1.40 percent and Eldorado Gold (ELD.TO) is up 0.20 percent. Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) is gaining 1.65 percent and Kinross Gold (K.TO) is advancing 1.40 percent. Yamana Gold (YRI.TO) is rising 1.51 percent.

Goldcorp (G.TO) is higher by 0.85 percent. The company has formally commenced an offer to acquire Exeter Resource Corp. (XRC.TO, XRA), supported by the board of directors of Exeter.

The Capped Telecommunication Services Index is up 0.29 percent. BCE (BCE.TO) is higher by 0.59 percent and Rogers Communications (RCI-B.TO) is rising 0.10 percent. TELUS (T.TO) is gaining 0.20 percent.

The Capped Healthcare Index is lower by 0.30 percent. Valeant Pharmaceuticals International (VRX.TO) is losing 0.08 percent and Extendicare (EXE.TO) is down 0.59 percent. Concordia International (CXR.TO) is falling 0.55 percent.

Celestica Inc. (CLS) announced earnings for its first quarter that gained 12% compared to the same period last year. Shares are declining 3.63 percent.

Supremex Inc.(SXP.TO) named Bertrand Jolicoeur CFO. The stock is climbing 0.82 percent.

On the economic front, Eurozone consumer confidence improved for a second straight month in April, preliminary data from the European Commission showed Thursday. The flash consumer confidence index for April rose to -3.6 from -5 in March.

Eurozone construction output increased notably in February, after falling in the previous two months, figures from Eurostat showed Thursday. Construction output climbed a seasonally adjusted 6.9 percent month-on-month in February, reversing a 2.4 percent decrease in January, which was revised from a 2.3 percent drop reported earlier.

Germany's producer prices increased for the fifth consecutive month in March, though at a slower-than-expected pace, data from Destatis showed Thursday. The producer price index climbed at a steady rate of 3.1 percent year-over-year in March, just below the 3.2 percent rise expected by economists.

After reporting a slight drop in first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits in the previous week, the Labor Department released a report on Thursday showing that initial jobless claims rebounded in the week ended April 15th.

The report said initial jobless claims climbed to 244,000, an increase of 10,000 from the previous week's unrevised level of 234,000. Economists had expected jobless claims to rise to 242,000.

Results from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia's manufacturing business outlook survey suggest that regional manufacturing activity continued to expand in April, but the pace of growth slowed by more than anticipated.

The Philly Fed said its index for current manufacturing activity in the region fell to 22.0 in April from 32.8 in March, although a positive reading indicates continued growth. Economists had expected the index to drop to 25.5.

In commodities, crude oil futures for May delivery are up 0.28 or 0.56 percent at $50.72 a barrel.

Natural gas for May is down 0.021 or 0.66 percent at $3.164 per million btu.

Gold futures for June are down $1.50 or 0.12 percent at $1,281.90 an ounce.

Silver for May is down $0.122 or 0.67 percent at $18.04 an ounce.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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