Toronto stock market advances amid strong Chinese manufacturing data

By , on June 3, 2014

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TORONTO — The Toronto stock market was positive Monday with support coming from the mining sector as copper prices advanced in the wake of a strong read on Chinese manufacturing.

The S&P/TSX composite index gained 39.8 points to 14,643.96.

The Canadian dollar was lower, down 0.46 of a cent to 91.77 cents US two days before the Bank of Canada delivers its next interest rate announcement.

U.S. indexes were mixed ahead of a heavy slate of economic data, capped at the end of the week by the government’s non-farm payrolls report.

The Dow Jones industrials were up 16.14 points to 16,733.31, the Nasdaq declined 7.93 points to 4,234.69 and the S&P 500 index slipped 0.56 of a point to 1,923.01.

There was positive data from the world’s second-biggest economy as the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing said that its monthly manufacturing index rose to 50.8 points in May, up from April’s reading of 50.4 and was the highest level this year. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion.

On the TSX, the base metals sector led advancers, up 1.22 per cent as the Chinese data pushed the July copper contract up four cents to US$3.17 a pound.

Telecoms also boosted the TSX, up 0.8 per cent.

The energy sector rose 0.3 per cent as July crude in New York declined 27 cents to US$102.44 a barrel.

The gold sector was the biggest decliner, with July bullion 60 cents lower to US$1,246.60. Bullion prices fell 3.5 per cent last week with markets feeling more comfortable about the Ukraine crisis and more concerned about deflation rather than inflation, particularly in Europe.

It is widely expected that European Central Bank president Mario Draghi will announce measures on Thursday aimed at raising inflation from very low levels and encouraging a lacklustre economic recovery.

On Monday, traders will take in the latest reading on the health of the American manufacturing sector. Economists expect the Institute for Supply Management’s index for May to come in at 55.5, up from 54.9 in April.

On the corporate front, trucking and delivery company TransForce Inc. says it has a US$310-million deal to buy Minnesota-based Transport America, Inc., which offers transportation services across the United States. Transforce (TSX:TFI) says the acquisition is expected to generate annual revenues of about US$350 million for the Quebec company. Its shares were down 10 cents to $23.60.

Pershing Square Capital Management LP is seeking to replace a majority of directors at Allergan Inc. at a special meeting of shareholders. The move is part of a plan to back a proposed takeover of the Botox maker by Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. (TSX:VRX). The investment firm headed by Bill Ackman is the largest shareholder at Allergan with a 9.7 per cent stake. On Friday, Valeant raised its stock-and-cash offer to about US$180 per share, valuing Allergan at more than US$54 billion. Valeant shares edged up 25 cents to $142.59.

There remains a trickle of first-quarter earnings reports coming out this week.

Investors will look to see how Hudson’s Bay Co. (TSX:HBC) fared during the quarter on Tuesday and Laurentian Bank posts results on Wednesday.