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Bay Street Seen Opening Higher

Canadian shares are likely to open higher Wednesday morning amid hopes global central banks will announce further stimulus measures to support growth, as businesses reopen after being under lockdown for several weeks due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Bank of Canada's Governor Stephen Poloz this morning raised hopes of more monetary stimulus from the bank. Speaking in a parliamentary committee, Poloz reiterated that the central bank is prepared to augment the scale of any of its programs if needed to support market functioning.

"If further monetary stimulus is required to meet our inflation targets, the bank has tools available to deliver that stimulus," he said.

Meanwhile, according to data released this morning, the value of building permits in Canada declined 17.1% in April, from a donwardly revised 13.4% decline a month earlier. The forecast was for an 11% drop on building permits in April.

On Tuesday, the market stayed firm right through the session amid optimism about economic recovery thanks to reopening of businesses in several countries across the world. The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index ended up 72.70 points, or 0.48%, at 15,148.12, after hitting a high of 15,185.07 intraday.

In company news, Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) reported a net income of $689 million for the second quarter, compared with $1.5 billion a year ago, as it increased the amount set aside for bad loans due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) said it earned $1.48 billion or $1.00 per diluted share for the quarter ended April 30, down from $3.23 billion or $2.20 per diluted share a year ago.

Torstar Corp. (TS.B.TO) announced it has entered into an arrangement agreement to be acquired by NordStar Capital LP. Upon completion of the transaction, Torstar will be taken private.

Under the deal terms, NordStar will acquire all of the issued and outstanding Class A shares and Class B non-voting shares of Torstar for C$0.63 in cash per share.

Asian stocks ended mixed on Wednesday as worries about rising U.S.-China tensions offset optimism about the reopening of economies across the world. The Bloomberg reported that the U.S. is considering a range of economic sanctions on Chinese officials and companies over the situation in Hong Kong.

European stocks are higher amid hopes that Japan and Europe will unveil large stimulus packages to minimize the economic fallout due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In commodities, West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures for July are down $0.55, or 1.6%, at $33.80 a barrel.

Gold futures for June are declining $13.10, or 0.77%, at $1,692.50 an ounce.

Silver futures for July are down $0.115, or 0.6%, at $17.480 an ounce, while Copper futures are lower by $0.0095, or 0.4%, at $2.4090 per pound.

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