Canadian stocks point higher on February GDP data

GMT 23:07 2016 Friday ,29 April

Arab Today, arab today Canadian stocks point higher on February GDP data

The Toronto Stock Exchange
Toronto - XINHUA

Canada's main stock market in Toronto pointed to a higher closing Friday following the release of data on gross domestic product and producer and raw material prices.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's benchmark Standard & Poor's/TSX Composite Index gained 65.02 points, or 0.47 percent, to close at 13,951.45 points. Half of the TSX index's eight main sub-sectors were higher.

Oil prices ended slightly lower Friday on profit-taking after recent solid gains. The West Texas Intermediate for June delivery fell 11 cents to settle at 45.92 U.S. dollars a barrel, while Brent crude for June delivery decreased 1 cent to close at 48.13 dollars a barrel.

TSX mining sector, up 9.66 percent, and energy group, up 0.08 percent, firmed on higher commodity prices. The most influential movers on the index included Barrick Gold, which rose 10.26 percent to 24.29 Canadian dollars (19.36 U.S. dollars), and First Quantum Minerals, which advanced 16.70 percent to 10.69 Canadian dollars.

Air Canada rose 12.68 percent to 9.33 Canadian dollars after the country's largest airline reported a first-quarter profit, compared with a loss a year earlier, helped by a decline in fuel costs.

Air Canada said it is on the cusp of firming up its order for up to 75 Bombardier CSeries passenger aircraft. The Montreal-based carrier also applauded Delta Air Lines for ordering up to 125 CSeries 100 planes, making it the largest customer for the new commercial jet.

However, Bombardier Inc. fell 7.35 percent to 1.89 Canadian dollars, as some of this week's gains were pared.

Among energy issues, TransCanada Corp, the country's No.2 pipeline operator, reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit, helped by higher income from its Bruce nuclear power plant in Ontario. Its shares edged 0.21 percent higher to 52.10 Canadian dollars.

Brookfield Asset Management Inc. fell 1.12 percent to 42.40 Canadian dollars. The company is in advanced talks to buy a controlling stake in the water and sewage unit of Brazilian engineering conglomerate Grupo Odebrecht, according to news reports.

Railway stocks also dragged, including a 1.80 percent decline in Canadian National Railway to 77.26 Canadian dollars.

Uranium producer Cameco Corporation fell 4.68 percent to 15.70 Canadian dollars after reporting an unexpected first-quarter adjusted loss as uranium prices continued to soften and demand remained low.

On the economic slate, Statistics Canada reported that the economy ailed during February. After rising for four consecutive months, real gross domestic product edged down 0.1 percent during the month.

The output of goods-producing industries declined in February, while the output of service-producing industries was essentially unchanged.

The agency also said its Industrial Product Price Index declined 0.6 percent in March, weighed by lower prices for motorized and recreational vehicles, while higher prices for energy and petroleum products somewhat compensated.

The Raw Materials Price Index increased 4.5 percent, led by higher prices for crude energy products.

The Canadian dollar traded unchanged at 0.7969 U.S. dollar, compared with Thursday's closing rate of 0.7969 U.S. dollar.

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