Canadian Shares Extending Gains; TSX Hits Fresh Record High

The Canadian stock market is fairly high up in positive territory Friday afternoon, extending recent gains, amid continued optimism about earnings and global economic recovery.

Stronger than expected earnings updates from top U.S. banks have helped offset concerns about inflation and higher interest rates.

Financial, consumer discretionary, information technology, industrials and energy stocks are among the prominent gainers. Healthcare stocks are a bit weak.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index is up 131.93 points or 0.63% at 20,951.87. The index hit a new all-time high at 20,952.44.

Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO), Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO), National Bank of Canada (NA.TO) and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO) are gaining 1 to 1.5%.

Consumer discretionary shares Canadian Tire Corp (CTC.A.TO), Magna International (MG.TO), Linamar Corp (LNR.TO) and Aritzia Inc (ATZ.TO) are up 1.3 to 2%.

Information technology stock Hut 8 Mining Corp (HUT.TO) is soaring 16% following a rating upgrade of the stock. Investment banker DA Davidson has raised the stock's rating to "Buy" and announced a price target of $20.

Dye & Durham is gaining 5.3% and Alithya Group (ALYA.TO) is rising 3.1%, while BlackBerry (BB.TO), Sierra Wireless (SW.TO), Shopify Inc (SHOP.TO), Lightspeed Pos (LSPD.TO) and Absloute Software Corp (ABST.TO) are up 1 to 2.3%.

Finning International (FTT.TO), up 2%, is the biggest gainer in the Industrials Index. Canadian Pacific Railway (CP.TO) and Cae Inc (CAE.TO) both are gaining nearly 1.5%, while Air Canada (AC.TO) is up 1.2%.

Energy stocks Imperial Oil (IMO.TO) and Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) both are gaining nearly 2%. Enerplus Corp (ERF.TO) is up almost 1%, while PrairieSky Royalty (PSK.TO) and Suncor Energy (SU.TO) are up 0.7% and 0.5%, respectively.

The industrial product price in Canada went up 1% month over month in September, following a 0.3% drop in the previous month, a preliminary estimate showed. Producer prices increased 15% in September over the same month in the previous year.

Data from Statistics Canada showed wholesale sales in Canada edged up 0.3% over a month earlier to C$ 70.3 billion in August, slightly worse than initial estimates of a 0.5% increase.

Another data from Statistics Canada showed car registrations in the country decreased to 149,778 Units in August from 156,049 Units in July.

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