Canadian market climbs to six-week high

By on April 7, 2017


Canada's main stock market closed Thursday's session at its highest point since Feb. 23, as gains in Health Care and Energy sectors contributed to a day that saw few laggards. (Photo by nodomain.cc - Flickr, CC BY 2.0.)
Canada’s main stock market closed Thursday’s session at its highest point since Feb. 23, as gains in Health Care and Energy sectors contributed to a day that saw few laggards. (Photo by nodomain.cc – Flickr, CC BY 2.0.)

TORONTO—Canada’s main stock market closed Thursday’s session at its highest point since Feb. 23, as gains in Health Care and Energy sectors contributed to a day that saw few laggards.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s benchmark Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite climbed 54.19 points, or 0.35 percent to close the day at 15,697.18 points. Eight of the 10 sub-groups finished the session ahead.

After posting the largest decline by group for three consecutive sessions, the Health Care group reversed the trend and posted the highest percentage gain during Thursday’s session. The group which consists of four drugmakers and two long-term care firms, jumped 0.97 percent after all six members closed higher.

Medical marijuana producer Canopy Growth Corporation led the way with a 2.69 percent ascent to close at 10.30 Canadian dollars (7.68 US. dollars). Meanwhile, retirement home companies Inc and Cardwell Retirement Residences saw respective gains of 1.59 percent and 0.58 percent.

Also gaining on the day was the TSX Energy group, rising 0.49 percent after the price of Brent crude oil delivered in June jumped 76 cents to 54.84 US. dollars a barrel.

As a result, a group of Calgary-based firms benefited. Baytex Energy Corp shares jumped 1.98 percent, while rival Encana Corporation shares advanced 1.47 percent. Meanwhile, Suncor Energy Inc, the largest producer of crude oil in the country, saw shares close at 41.69 Canadian dollars (31.07 U.S. dollars).

The remaining groups to finish the session higher were: Industrials (0.33 percent), Telecommunications (0.33 percent), Financial (0.27 percent), Utilities (0.25 percent), Materials (0.18 percent), and Consumer Discretionary (0.08 percent).

The Materials group, which is made up of producers of gold, precious metals, and raw materials, finished slightly ahead after posting mixed results from group members. Miners Detour Gold Corporation and Teck Resources were the bright spots, surging 3.98 percent and 3.00 percent, respectively.

Vancouver-based gold miner B2Gold Corp. pulled the group down, after closing 1.32 percent lower and being the second most actively traded stock by volume. Also weighing down the group was Barrick Gold Corporation, the world’s largest producer of gold, after confirming a strategic cooperation agreement with China’s Shandong Gold Group Co. Ltd where the Toronto-based firm will sell 50 percent of their Veladero gold mine for 960 million U.S. dollars. Shares of Barrick closed at 25.87 Canadian dollars (19.28 U.S. dollars).

In addition to the sale, which is expected to close in the second quarter on 2017, the two companies will explore opportunities to unlock mining projects along the El Indio Belt, a mineral-rich region along the Argentina and Chile border in South America.

This includes the environmentally controversial area of Pascua Lama, which has yet to receive approval from the Chilean government.

The Consumer Discretionary group, which is made up of producers of non-essentials goods such as automobiles, apparel and entertainment was pulled down by media and content firm Corus Entertainment after posting worse than expected second quarter financials. Shares of the Toronto-based company closed at 12.69 Canadian dollars (9.46 U.S. dollars), a 2.08 percent decline.

Two groups failed to finish ahead and closed with modest declines. The Information Technology sector ticked down 0.18 percent, while the Consumer Staples group faded 0.17 percent.

The Canadian dollar inched up 0.05 cents to finish the session at 0.7453 U.S. dollars.