UPDATE- Canada Stocks Just About Make It Four Days In A Row of Gains; Eastern Platinum, Bombardier Most Active


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The resources heavy Toronto Stock Exchange on Friday just about succeeded in making it four days of gains in a row, closing up 6 points after a small rally over the last two hours or so saw it recover near 20 points. Some investors probably took positions or sat on the sidelines ahead of the long holiday weekend in the States. Volume on the TSX was 110 million.

Among sectors, most were up, with only Financials slightly lower - maybe on some profit taking after strong gains Thursday as RBC and TD banks both reported Q2 results that beat expectations. But none of the sectors were either up or down by more than 0.5%.

In commodities, gold prices settled US$3.30 lower at $1,291.70 an ounce, making for a modest weekly loss as the U.S. dollar strengthened and investors took positions before the long weekend in the States. Meanwhile, West Texas Intermediate oil hit five week highs on lower U.S. crude inventories. Brent was near $111 a barrel.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, platinum futures for July delivery dropped 1.4% to $1,472.80 an ounce, the biggest drop since May 7, according to Bloomberg. Yesterday, the metal reached $1,497.80, the highest since Sept. 9, it said. Bloomberg added that representatives from the world's three biggest platinum producers and the main union at their South African mines will continue pay talks tomorrow in a bid to end a strike that has crippled output for 18 weeks.

Perhaps reflecting this, Eastern Platinum (ELR.TO) was the most active stock on the TSX, gaining 20% to near 52 week highs with 16.9 million shares traded.

Bombardier Inc (BBD-B.TO), which has lost more than 5% this week and lost 2% today to $3.75 on volume of 13.2 million, is reeling from a series of adverse news this week.

On Wednesday, Bombardier plunged 12% early in the session to hit a week low of $3.69 after media reports that it was apparently caught up in a blunder that has engulfed France's regional rail network. British newspaper The Telegraph reported that French national rail operator SNCF - which runs the TGV fast trains - has miscalculated with its new generation of regional trains that are too wide for 1,300 stations. Train platforms will have to be "shaved" to stop carriages from getting stuck, the paper reported. The faux pas was reported by a weekly French satirical newspaper, Canard Enchaine. SNCF was slated to take delivery of new trains from Alstom SA of France and Bombardier through 2016.

Also on Wednesday, Bloomberg reported that Bombardier's biggest customer for the CSeries jet was considering whether to take the planes after a change in airline strategy. However, Canadian Press reported since then that CEO Bryan Redford, while reportedly concerned about the slow rate of sales for the C-Series jet has no plans to cancel its order with Bombardier. The planes are slated for delivery in two years.

The latest news today is that Russia is apparently weighing whether it should end its $3.4 billion deal with Bombardier to buy Q400 turboprop planes to be built in a new assembly plant in Russia, the country's industry minister said, according to a Globe and Mail newspaper report.

To end a very bad week, Patrick Horan, principal at Agilith Capital pronounced that Bombardier management have lost credibility in the market place over the delays in launching its CSeries program. Horan said momentum on the CSeries program is declining every day and that is a "big issue" for them. "They are in a pickle right now," he told BNN TV.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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This article appears in: Investing , Commodities

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