Canada’s main stock index rose at the open on Thursday, lifted by the materials and energy sectors as commodity prices firmed after the U.S. Federal Reserve doused prospects of an increase in lending rates.
The TSX Composite index led off Thursday with a gain of 70.01 points to 20,300.41.
The Canadian dollar hiked 0.29 cents to 80.16 cents U.S.
Cenovus Energy raised its full-year production forecast and posted a near 2% rise in quarterly profit as crude prices returned to pre-pandemic levels. Cenovus shares acquired 24 cents, or 2.4%, to $10.41.
Canadian Pacific Railway topped quarterly profit estimates, boosted by a recovery from the pandemic-led slump in freight volumes. CP shares took on $2.09, or 2.3%, to $92.38.
Scotiabank raised the rating on Air Canada to sector outperform from sector perform. Shares in the “Maple Leaf airline” got lift of 20 cents to $25.19.
Credit Suisse cut the rating on Mindbeacon Holdings to neutral from outperform. Mindbeacon shed two cents to $3.67.
National Bank of Canada raised the target on Intact Financial to $212.00 from $207.00. Intact edged up eight cents to $169.96.
National then cut the rating on Real Matters to sector perform from outperform. Real shares stumbled 67 cents, or 5%, to $12.78.
On the economic slate, Statistics Canada said payroll employment fell by 257,500 (or -1.6%) in May, with much of the decline concentrated in service industries in Ontario.
British Columbia is bringing back a mask mandate for the central region of the province amid a surge of COVID-19 cases in the area, less than a month after easing restrictions.
The TSX Venture Exchange climbed 8.42 points to 917.21
All but three of the 12 TSX subgroups were positive in the first hour, as gold brightened 2.4%, materials were hoisted 2%, and energy rumbled 0.8% higher
The three laggards were health-care, down 1.5%, information technology, off 0.3%, and real-estate, backing away 0.2%.
U.S. stocks rose to record levels on Thursday as investors shrugged off economic data pointing slower-than-expected growth.
The Dow Jones Industrials hiked 149.32 points to 35,080.25 to hit an intraday record.
The S&P 500 cleared breakeven 20.09 points to 4,420.73, also reaching a fresh high.
The NASDAQ gained 51.53 points to 14,814.11, amid a drop in Facebook and PayPal shares.
The major averages are on track to end the month higher, with the S&P up 2.4% for July. The NASDAQ is ahead 1.8% and the Dow is up 1.2%,
PayPal lost 5% and Facebook fell 3%, after warning of significant growth slowdown as they reported quarterly earnings.
Meanwhile, shares of Ford jumped nearly 4% after it raised its 2021 outlook, saying it’s selling more cars that are more expensive, though it missed analysts’ estimates on earnings.
Amazon, Pinterest and Anheuser-Busch are set to report earnings Thursday.
U.S. second-quarter gross domestic product accelerated 6.5% on an annualized basis, considerably less than the 8.4% Dow Jones estimate.
Meanwhile, a separate data point showed that 400,000 people filed initial claims for unemployment benefits for the week ended July 24. That level is nearly double the pre-pandemic norm and above a Dow Jones estimate of 385,000.
Many investors were relieved that the Federal Reserve signaled no imminent plans for dialing back asset purchases. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell cautioned that although the economy is making progress toward its goals, it has a ways to go before the central bank would actually adjust its easy policies.
Prices for 10-Year Treasurys sagged, lifting yields to 1.27% from Wednesday’s 1.23%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.
Oil prices captured 56 cents to $72.95 U.S. a barrel.
Gold prices leaped $28.30 to $1,828 U.S. an ounce.