Energy Stocks Drag TSX Higher — Canadian Commentary

Canadian stocks inched higher Thursday, as stronger energy stocks outweighed weak financial and health care shares.

A deluge of earnings news kept investors on their toes today, as did a litany of U.S. economic data ahead of tomorrow’s GDP report.

The TSX Composite Index was up 19.97 points to 15,191.36. Energy stocks jumped 1.8 percent, as Sept. WTI oil gained 29 cents, or 0.6%, to settle at $49.04/bbl, the highest since May 30.

Suncor Energy Inc. (SU.TO) turned to profit in the second quarter, but trimmed its Syncrude production forecast. Cenovus Energy Inc. (CVE.TO) also booked a quarterly profit.

Maple Leaf Foods (MFI.TO) quarterly profits rose 19%. Shares rose 4.2%

Teck Resources (TCK.B.TO) beat its profit estimates on higher coal prices and production. Shares rose 1.8%.

Potash Corp Of Saskatchewan Inc. (POT.TO) second quarter earnings climbed 66% from last year. Shares rose 1%

Gold stocks struggled even as gold prices rose to their highest in eight weeks, while Agnico-Eagle (AEM.TO), Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) and Goldcorp (G.TO) booked strong quarterly profits.

In economic news, Statistics Canada confirmed a solid yearly rise in wages this morning. Average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees were $972 in May, virtually unchanged from April but up 2.0% from 12 months earlier.

U.S. durable goods orders spiked by 6.5 percent in June after edging down by a revised 0.1 percent in May.

Economists had expected durable goods orders to surge up by 3.0 percent compared to the 1.1 percent drop originally reported for the previous month.

Excluding a jump in orders for transportation equipment, durable goods orders edged up by 0.2 percent in June after climbing by 0.6 percent in May. Ex-transportation orders had been expected to rise by 0.4 percent.

Meanwhile, a separate report from the Labor Department showed that initial jobless claims rose by more than expected in the week ended July 22nd.

by RTT Staff Writer

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