Toronto stock index falls, loonie lower as major commodity prices decline

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Toronto stock index falls, loonie lower as major commodity prices decline

Asian stocks climbed as a deal by Opec to reduce output for the first time in eight years boosted global energy shares, while U.S. economy showed signs of strength.

Energy shares accounted for 35 of the 45 most influential gainers, with several names jumping more than 10 per cent.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's benchmark Standard & Poor's/TSX Composite Index gained 83.04 points, or 0.55 percent, to end the session at 15,082.85 points.

Suncor, up 7.6 per cent at $43.09.

Eight subgroups were on the losing side, with Health Care (2.45 percent), Consumer Staples (1.49 percent), Telecommunications (1.30 percent), Consumer Discretionary (1.24 percent), Financials (0.70 percent), Utilities (0.62 percent), Information Technology (0.47 percent), and Materials (0.22 percent) groups all ending Wednesday in the negative.

Half of the index's 10 main groups were in positive territory, with advancers outnumbering decliners by a 1.2-to-1 ratio.

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 Index jumped 0.6 per cent, snapping a three-day drop as New Zealand's S&P/NZX 50 Index climbed 0.3 per cent, while the Kospi in Seoul was little changed. The Dow Jones industrial average hit an all-time high. The bank reported a nine per cent increase in its fourth quarter, offering an encouraging sign to investors that it was still able to make $2 billion in profits in a low oil price environment.

But as with other major global decisions this year, like the British exit from the European Union and the victory of US president-elect Donald Trump, the markets had gotten it wrong.

Facebook fell 3.2 per cent to $114.73 after Canaccord Genuity cut its price target on the stock, while Microsoft, Apple and Alphabet fell between 1.5 per cent and 2.2 per cent. Investors are also awaiting the government payrolls data on Friday for clues on the pace of future interest-rate hikes from the Federal Reserve.

The S&P 500 energy sector soared as much as 5.3 per cent to a 17-month high, boosted by gains in Exxon and Chevron.

Financial index rose 1.5 per cent on Thursday.

Traders have now priced in a 90-per-cent chance of a rate increase in December.

At 10:09 a.m. EDT (1509 GMT), the Toronto index was up 116.36 points, or 0.78 percent, at 15,116.17. For Q3 2016, the sector is expected to reveal its largest year-over-year earnings decline of 66%, the worst performance of all 11 S&P 500 sectors. Shares of Celgene, which is developing the therapy with Bluebird, was up less than 1 percent.

Spartan Energy Corp. and Encana Corporation also thrived, soaring 13.10 percent and 10.91 percent, respectively.

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