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TSX Firmly In Positive Territory As Energy, Materials Shares Extend Gains

The Canadian stock market is up firmly in positive territory a little past noon on Wednesday after opening on a bright note thanks to positive global markets, and surging crude oil and gold prices.

Although worries about coronavirus cases continue to hurt sentiment, optimism about a relief package by the U.S. government appears to be tilting the scale in favour of stocks.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index, which rose to 16,507.32, is up 100.67 points or 0.62% at 16,468.70 a few minutes past noon.

Energy stocks are up sharply once again, and mirroring their rise, the Capped Energy Index is up as much as 4.3%. The Capped Materials Index has surged up 2.25% and the Financials Index is up 1.12%.

Among the gainers in the energy space, Crescent Point Energy (CPG.TO) is rising nearly 7%, Cenovus Energy (CVE.TO) is up 6.5% and Whitecap Resources (WCP.TO) is moving up 6%.

Husky Energy (HSE.TO), Tourmaline Oil Corp (TOU.TO), Vermilion Energy (VET.TO), MEG Energy (MEG.TO), Imperial Oil (IMO.TO), Enerplus Corp (ERF.TO), Seven Generations Energy (VII.TO), Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) and Suncor Energy (SU.TO) are up 4 to 5.5%.

In the materials section, Oceanagold Corp (OGC.TO) and First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO) are both stronger by more than 7.5%. Hudbay Minerals (HBM.TO) is gaining 5.7% and Teck Resources (TECK.B.TO) is up 5%.

Methanex Corp (MX.TO), Kinross Gold (K.TO), Lundin Mining (LUN.TO), Yamana Gold Corp (YRI.TO), Iamgold Corp (IMG.TO), B2Gold Corp (BTO.TO) and Eldorado Gold (ELD.TO) are moving up 3 to 4.75%.

In the financial space, Great-West Lifeco Inc. (GWO.TO) is gaining 5.5%. The company reported second-quarter earnings of $706 million, an increase of 13% from the second quarter 2019. Net earnings for the second quarter of this financial year was $863 million, the company said.

Manulife Financial (MFC.TO) is up 3.6%, Sun Life Financial (SLF.TO) is gaining 2.3% and Onex Corp (ONEX.TO) is rising nearly 2%. CDN Western Bank (CWB.TO), Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO), Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO), Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO), Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) and Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) are up 1 to 1.6%.

Thomson Reuters Inc. (TRI.TO) shares are down nearly 1% after the company reported second-quarter net income of US$126 million or 25 cents per share compared with US$180 million or 36 cents per share in the second quarter of 2019.

In economic news, Statistics Canada's report showed Canada's trade deficit widened to C$ 3.19 billion in June 2020 from an upwardly revised C$ 1.33 billion in May. Imports jumped 21.8% to C$ 42.9 billion, while exports rose 17.1% to C$ 39.71 billion in the month, the data showed.

Meanwhile, there is some optimism that U.S. lawmakers will eventually reach an agreement on a new coronavirus relief bill. According to reports, Democratic leaders said they continue to make progress toward an agreement after meeting with Trump administration officials on Tuesday.

"We're making progress," said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. "We really went down issue by issue by issue, slogging through them,"

"They made some concessions, which we appreciated. We made some concessions, which they appreciated," he added. "We're still far away on a lot of the important issues, but we're continuing to go at it."

The comments from Schumer come after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ken., indicated he would support any agreement between Democrats and the White House.

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