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Gold pushes Canadian market ahead

Xinhua, February 9, 2017 Adjust font size:

Canada's main stock market in Toronto rose for a second straight day on Wednesday, as gold prices reached a 13-week high to extend a strong start to 2017 by the materials group.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's benchmark Standard & Poor's/TSX Composite gained 55.24 points, or 0.36 percent, to close the day at 15,554.04 points. Eight of the ten sub-groups finished the session higher.

The TSX Materials Group, which consists of which is comprised of producers of gold, precious metals, and raw materials, continued to build on the momentum since the start of the year. So far in 2017, the group is the lone standout group in the TSX, prospering 5.32 percent.

On Wednesday, the price of gold gained 0.62 percent to close at 1,241.00 U.S. dollars, its highest point since Nov. 10, as investors continued to face global uncertainty. Shares of Vancouver-based B2Gold Corp. were the most actively traded stock on the day (8.7 million shares) and finished at 4.49 Canadian dollars (3.40 U.S. dollars), a 1.81 percent increase. Barrick Gold Corporation, the world's largest producer of gold, posted a 1.18 percent increase to close the session at 25.75 Canadian dollars (19.58 U.S. dollars).

The prices of silver and copper also edged up on the day. An ounce of silver rose 0.45 percent to 17.75 U.S. dollars, while a pound of copper surged 1.70 percent to 2.6674 U.S. dollars. Lundin Mining Corporation, a Toronto-based miner that predominately mines copper jumped 4.42 percent to close at 8.27 Canadian dollars (6.29 U.S. dollars).

Other groups to post gains on the day were: Health Care (1.08 percent), Utilities (0.75 percent), Consumer Staples (0.60 percent), Telecommunications (0.36 percent), Energy (0.24 percent), and Financials (0.18 percent).

Utilities group benefited from Calgary-based TransAlta Corporation shares gaining 3.57 percent to close at 7.84 Canadian dollars (5.96 U.S. dollars).

The TSX Energy group ended three straight losing sessions after both crude oil and natural gas prices moved up on the New York Mercantile Exchange. A barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude for March delivery jumped 0.46 percent to 52.41 U.S. dollars a barrel, while natural gas delivered in the same month ticked up 0.29 percent to 3.141 U.S. dollars per million British thermal units.

As a result, shares of Calgary-based firms Surge Energy Inc. and Baytex Energy Corp. saw respective increases of 4.62 percent and 3.80 percent.

The Financials group finished in the green despite Intact Financial Corporation reporting worse than expected fourth quarter earnings. The Toronto-based firm which is the largest property and casualty insurer in Canada saw stocks fall 1.48 percent to 93.88 Canadian dollars (71.39 U.S. dollars) after net income fell 13.64 percent compared to last year.

The two laggard groups on Wednesday were Industrials and Information Technology, retreating 0.27 percent and 0.19 percent, respectively.

The TSX Industrials group finished lower despite Montreal-based Bombardier Inc. shares gaining 1.96 percent to 2.60 Canadian dollars (1.98 U.S. dollars) after the Canadian government announced late on Tuesday that it would provide an interest free loans of 372.2 million Canadian dollars (about 283 million U.S. dollars) to fund their CSeries business jets. Offsetting Bombardier's gain were Air Canada and WestJet Airlines Ltd., the country's two largest airlines. The two firms posted respective losses of 0.52 percent and 2.49 percent on the day.

On the economic front, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation reported that housing starts in January rose to an annualized rate of 207,408, a 0.53 percent rise from December's pace of 206,305.

The Canadian dollar ticked up 0.11 cents to finish the day at 0.7604 U.S. dollars. Endit