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Canadian Markets Modestly Higher At Noon

The Canadian stock market is modestly higher a little past noon on Wednesday, with shares from materials and technology sections scoring notable gains.

Although gains are not significantly pronounced, the mood is a bit positive amid hopes the Joe Biden administration will come out with additional stimulus sometime soon to bolster growth of the world's largest economy. Biden was sworn in as the 46th President of the U.S. this morning.

Investors are also digesting Bank of Canada's rate decision and its outlook for the economy, and the data on inflation for the month of December.

The Bank of Canada today held its target for the overnight rate at the effective lower bound of 0.25%, with the Bank Rate at 0.5% and the deposit rate at 0.25%,The central bank, which has also decided to keep its bond-buying program unchanged at $4 billion a week, reiterated its pledge to keep policy rates at current levels "until the recovery is well underway."

Data released by Statistics Canada showed consumer prices rose in December 2020. The data said Canada's consumer Price Index rose 0.7% on a year-over-year basis in December, down from a 1.0% increase in November. On a seasonally-adjusted monthly basis, the CPI rose 0.1% in December.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index was up 30.30 points or 0.16% at 17,987.67 about a few minutes past noon. Earlier, the index touched a low of 17,911.50 after opening at 18,022.20.

MEG Energy (MEG.TO) is surging up 8.5%. Bomardier Inc. (BBD.B.TO), BlackBerry (BB.TO), Pan American Silver Corp (PAAS.TO), and Crescent Point Energy (CPG.TO) are gaining 5 to 7%.

West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd. (WFT.TO) and Norbord Inc. (OSB.TO) have jointly announced that the shareholders of each of West Fraser and Norbord have approved all resolutions relating to West Fraser's acquisition of all of the issued and outstanding common shares of Norbord. West Fraser Timber and Norbord shares are up 4% and 4.2%, respectively.

Magna International (MG.TO), Descartes Systems (DSG.TO), Kinaxis Inc. (KXS.TO), Colliers International (CIGI.TO) and Shopify Inc. (SHOP.TO) are also up with impressive gains.

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