TSX Closes Modestly Higher

The Canadian stock market faltered after a firm start Thursday morning, but recovered soon and spent the rest of the session in positive territory to eventually close modestly higher.

Materials shares scored strong gains, while shares from healthcare sector declined sharply. Utilities and consumer staples shares found some support, while stocks from other sectors closed mixed.

Investors, digesting U.S. inflation data and the European Central Bank's monetary policy statement, largely made cautious moves.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index ended with a gain of 47.20 points or 0.24% at 20,049.47, after scaling a low of 19,969.70 and a high of 20,081.06 intraday.

Materials shares New Gold (NGD.TO), Dundee Precious Metals (DPM.TO), Silvercrest Metals (SIL.TO), First Majestic Silver Corp (FR.TO), Endeavour Silver Corp (EDR.TO), Sandstorm Gold (SSL.TO), MAG Silver Corp (MAG.TO) and Ssr Mining (SSRM.TO) gained 3.7 to 6%.

Tilray Inc (TLRY.TO), down 6.8%, was the biggest loser in the Healthcare Index. Trillium Therapeutics (TRIL.TO), Organigram Holdings (OGI.TO), Aurora Cannabis (ACB.TO) and Cronos Group (CRON.TO) ended lower by 3 to 4%.

BlackBerry (BB.TO) tumbled more than 8%. West Fraser Timber (WFG.TO), CNOOC Limited (CNU.TO) and Manulife Financial (MFC.TO) also ended notably lower.

AutoCanada (ACQ.TO), Kinaxis Inc (KXS.TO), Wheaton Precious Metals (WPM.TO), Docebo Inc (DCBO.TO), Boyd Group Services (BYD.TO) and Agnico Eagle Mines (AEM.TO) rose sharply.

Data released by the Labor Department showed a bigger than expected increase in consumer prices in the month of May. The data said the U.S. consumer price index rose by 0.6% in May after climbing by 0.8% in April. Economists had expected consumer prices to increase by 0.4%.

Another data from the Labor Department showed a modest drop in first-time claims for unemployment benefits in the U.S. The report said jobless claims dipped to 376,000 from the previous week's unrevised level of 385,000. Economists had expected jobless claims to fall to 370,000.

The Governing Council of the European Central Bank, led by ECB President Christine Lagarde, today left key interest rates unchanged and maintained the size of the pandemic emergency purchase programme, or PEPP, at EUR 1,850 billion.

The ECB has raised Eurozone growth forecasts for this year and next and said the risks to the outlook were balanced. Policymakers also raised the inflation forecast for the two years, but expect underlying inflationary pressures to remain subdued.

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