News Column

Rail, energy shares drive TSX higher

July 18, 2014

Inflation numbers released

Canada's leading stock index climbed on Friday, supported by gains in shares of energy producers and Canadian Pacific Railway, as investors shrugged off worries about heightening tensions in Ukraine.

The S&P/TSX composite index remained 61.35 points to greet noon at 15,265.83

The Canadian dollar gained 0.23 cents to 93.15 cents U.S.

The benchmark Toronto stock market index, which hit a record high in the previous session, is up nearly 12% this year.

Shares of energy producers climbed, with Suncor Energy adding 0.9% to $44.69 and Canadian Natural Resources rising 0.9% to $47.86.

CP Rail jumped for a second straight session after reporting

quarterly results on Thursday. The stock was up 2.5% at $207.34.

The gold-mining sector dropped, weighed down by a decline in the bullion price. Goldcorp fell 1.9% to $29.70, and Barrick Gold gave back 1.2% to $20.38.

Economists expect Canada's economy will grow a bit more slowly than previously thought over the next two years, but they also expect inflation to stay near the central bank's 2% target.

On the economic front, Statistics Canada reported this morning that consumer prices rose 2.4% in the 12 months to June, following a 2.3% increase in May. On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, the Consumer Price Index increased 0.3% in June, after rising 0.2% in May.

What's more, the agency reported that the wholesale trade perked once again in May, rising 2.2% to $52.6 billion, a second consecutive increase. While higher sales were recorded in four subsectors, representing the bulk of wholesale sales, the motor vehicle and parts subsector accounted for most of the gain. Excluding this subsector, wholesale sales rose 0.7%.


The TSX Venture Exchange gained 4.56 points to 1,010.32.

Nine of the 14 Toronto subgroups were higher, with industrials up 1.4%, energy up 1.1%, and information technology gaining 0.8%.

The five laggards were weighed mostly by gold, down 1.7%, metals and mining off 1.1%, and materials, sliding 0.8%.


Stocks brushed off geopolitical tensions and the blue-chips in particular are on track to end the week solidly higher.

The Dow Jones Industrials spiked 98.68 points higher to 17,075.49.

The S&P 500 progressed 14.93 points to 1,973.05, and the NASDAQ composite leaped 50.86 points to 4,414.31

Thursday, the Dow dropped 161 points. It was the biggest slump in two months.

Drugmakers AbbVie and Shire announced jointly their plans to merge on Friday. The $54-billion U.S. acquisition is the latest by a U.S. firm looking to move its tax base overseas to save money. Shares of both companies were higher Friday.

Such mergers have become more frequent lately, and critics argue that they should be banned. Others, however, say the rise in inversion deals is yet another sign of the urgent need for corporate tax reform.

Google shares rallied over 2.5% after the tech firm reported another quarter of surging sales growth after the bell Thursday, driven by 25% increase in ad viewing compared to the year earlier. News that Japan's Softbank has hired away Google's global sales chief Nikesh Arora may also being piquing investor interest.

Honeywell rose after its second-quarter earnings beat expectations thanks to a 6% uptick in sales. The company also raised its profit outlook for the year.

But shares of General Electric, another manufacturing powerhouse, fell Friday even though the conglomerate reported growth in second quarter revenue and earnings, buoyed by a solid jump in its industrial segment.

Thursday's drama started after news broke of downed Malaysian airliner flight 17 over an area of Ukraine controlled by pro-Russian rebels, of whom many in Ukraine and the West blamed for the incident. Market tensions stabilized after the event, but were then exacerbated after Israel sent ground troops into Gaza.

The U.S. believes Flight MH17 was brought down by a surface-to-air missile over a region that has seen heavy fighting between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian government forces.

Analysts say the tragedy could damage business confidence, particularly in Europe, but may also bring the crisis in Ukraine to a head by increasing the pressure on Moscow to resolve the conflict.

Prices for 10-year U.S. Treasuries were unchanged, keeping yields at Thursday's 2.48%.

Oil prices sank two cents to $103.17 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices plummeted $9.70 to $1,307.20 U.S. an ounce.

For more stories on investments and markets, please see HispanicBusiness' Finance Channel

Source: Baystreet Stock Market Update (Canada)

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