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TSX Ends Higher For 3rd Straight Day

The Canadian stock market ended on a firm note on Thursday, due largely to strong gains in the materials section after bullion prices rose sharply.

Fairly strong earnings updates and dovish comments from the Federal Reserve about interest rates further underpinned sentiment.

Healthcare stocks, which scored hefty gains in the previous two sessions, declined on profit taking. Information technology stocks were a bit weak. Consumer staples, financial, energy, industrials and consumer discretionary stocks found some support.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index, which rose to 20,363.04, less than 20 points shy of its record high of 20,381.70, ended the session at 20,311.78, gaining 81.38 points or 0.4%.

The Capped Materials Index climbed 2.15%. Kirkland Lake Gold (KL.TO) and Canfor Corp (CFP.TO) gained 6.4% and 5.5%, respectively. First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO), New Gold (NGD.TO), Endeavour Silver Corp (EDR.TO) and Agnico Eagle Mines (AEM.TO) gained 4 to 5%.

Lithium Americas Corp (LAC.TO), Kinross Gold (K.TO), Franco-Nevada Corp (FNV.TO) and Silvercrest Metals (SIL.TO) also rose sharply.

Crescent Point Energy (CPG.TO) gained more than 4%. Cenovus Energy (CVE.TO) moved up nearly 2% on strong results. Cenovus reported net earnings of C$224 million or C$0.11 per share in the second quarter, up from C$220 million or C$0.10 in the first quarter.

CCL Industries (CCL.B.TO), West Fraser Timber (WFG.TO), Onex Corporation (ONEX.TO), Cargojet Inc (CJT.TO) and Brp Inc (DOO.TO) gained 2 to 3%. Baytex Energy (BTE.TO), B2Gold Corp (BTO.TO) and Barrick Gold Corporation (ABX.TO) also ended with strong gains.

On the economic front, data released by Statistics Canada showed average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees in Canada inched down 0.1% year-on-year to C$ 1,138 in May, and went up 0.9% on a monthly basis.

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