News Column

Toronto climbs on Putin comments

August 14, 2014

Housing prices gain

Stock prices in Toronto advanced on Thursday as comments by Russian President Vladimir Putin helped ease concerns about a further escalation of the crisis in Ukraine and drove gains in most major sectors.

The S&P/TSX composite index gained 45.19 points to greet noon at 15,307.92

The Canadian dollar added 0.01 cents to 91.65 cents U.S.

The TSX is up more than 12% this year, though trading has been choppy in the past couple of weeks due to the crises in Ukraine and the Middle East.

Putin said Russians need to mobilize for the benefit of their country but not for conflict with the outside world.

Financials gained with Royal Bank of Canada rising 0.6% to $80 and Toronto-Dominion Bank adding 0.4% to $56.72.

The consumer staples group was up as Alimentation Couche-Tard gained 1.2% to $30.06.

A rise in Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, which climbed 1.3% to $120.76, helped boost the health-care sector.

On the economic beat, Statistics Canada reported that its New Housing Price Index rose 0.2% in June, up slightly from the 0.1% gain observed in May. The increase was largely the result of higher new home prices in Ontario.


The TSX Venture Exchange backtracked 1.95 points to 997.81

Nine of the 14 Toronto subgroups were higher, as health-care gained 1%, consumer staples 0.9%, and financials were up 0.6%.

The five laggards were weighed most by metals and mining, down 1%, global base metals, down 0.7%, and materials, sliding 0.3%.


U.S. stocks edged higher on Thursday after conciliatory comments by Russian President Vladimir Putin eased concerns about the country's tense situation with Ukraine and overshadowed signs of weakness in the European economy.

The Dow Jones Industrials picked up 40.55 points to 16,692.35

The S&P 500 added 5.65 points to 1,952.37. The NASDAQ composite improved 10.66 points to 4,444.79.

Wal-Mart reported flat same-store sales for the second-quarter and cut its full-year profit outlook. Shares of the Dow component were unchanged at $73.99 U.S..

Cisco Systems fell 2.9% to $24.48 U.S. as the S&P 500's biggest percentage decliner. The company, also a Dow component, gave a tepid outlook Wednesday for its current quarter and announced massive job cuts even as revenue beat expectations.

The chief executive of NewLink Genetics, which licensed an Ebola vaccine developed by Canadian government scientists, late Wednesday told Reuters it had enough doses on hand to launch the first human safety trial of an Ebola vaccine this summer. Shares jumped 9% to $25.54 U.S.

The latest data out of Europe showed the euro-zone's economy ground to a halt in the second quarter, with Germany - the largest euro-zone economy - unexpectedly contracting in the quarter.

A report from the U.S. Labor Department showed initial jobless claims rose a steeper-than-expected 21,000 to 311,000 in the week ended Aug. 9. But even with that rise, claims were still close to pre-recession levels, boding well for the labor market, which has been strengthening.

The prices paid for goods imported into the U.S. declined by 0.2% in July, the first drop in three months, led lower by fuel prices, the department reported separately.

Prices for 10-year U.S. Treasuries sagged, raising yields to Wednesday's 2.41%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices fell $1.23 to $96.14 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices slipped $1.40 at $1,313.10 U.S. an ounce.

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Source: Baystreet Stock Market Update (Canada)

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