By RTT News, September 23, 2013, 05:08:00 PM EDT
(RTTNews.com) - Canadian stocks ended slightly higher Monday, on some encouraging data with Chinese manufacturing rising to its highest level in six months and on Angela Merkel's election to a third term in Germany. Nonetheless, investor anxiety persisted with possibility of the Federal Reserve tapering down its quantitative easing program after its October meeting.
China's factory sector performance rose to its highest level in six months in September as new export orders rebounded, preliminary results of a survey by Markit Economics and HSBC. The headline purchasing managers' index rose to 51.2 in September from 50.1 in August.
The historic win for German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the week end general elections was somewhat dampened, as her ruling conservative coalition finished just short of an absolute majority. This leaves Merkel with the difficult task of seeking the support of the opposition Social Democrats for a grand coalition.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index closed Monday at 12,811.20, up 4.73 points or 0.04 percent. The index touched an intraday high of 12,828.40 and a low of 12,798.30.
The Information Technology Index gained 0.79 percent, with smart-phone maker BlackBerry Limited (BB.TO) ending flat at $9.08 a share, with Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. making an offer to take the smartphone maker private for a cash-consideration of about $4.7 billion.
Yesterday, BlackBerry said revenues for its recently ended second quarter is expected to come in well below expectations, with sales of its latest smart-phones plunging. The company also confirmed layoffs of about 4,500 workers, aiming to reduce operating expenses by at least 50 percent by the end of 2015 fiscal year. BlackBerry also indicated plans to cut its future device portfolio from six handsets to four.
The Diversified Metals & Mining Index dropped 1.03 percent, with Teck Resources Limited (TCK.B.TO) shedding 0.32 percent and Lundin Mining Corp. (LUN.TO) surrendering 1.89 percent. Osisko Mining Corp. (OSK.TO) plunged 5.55 percent.
The Capped Materials Index shed 1.65 percent, with Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc.(POT.TO) dipping 0.39 percent.
Gold futures ended lower for a second straight session Monday, on profit taking even as investors mulled the prospect of a cut to the Federal Reserve's $85 billion monthly bond-buying program in October.
The Global Gold Index lost 1.84 percent, with gold futures for December delivery shedding $5.50 or 0.4 percent to close at $1,327.00 an ounce Monday on the Nymex.
Among gold stocks, Barrick Gold Corp. (ABX.TO) shed 1.20 percent, while Yamana Gold Inc. (YRI.TO) lost 1.84 percent. B2Gold Corp. (BTO.TO) declined 3.35 percent, while Goldcorp Inc. (G.TO) dropped 2.63 percent. Kinross Gold Corporation (K.TO) dipped 0.38 percent, while Eldorado Gold Corp. (ELD.TO) dived 2.94 percent.
U.S. crude oil dropped ended lower for a third straight day on Monday, with supply concerns over shipments from the Middle East easing significantly, although worries over possibilities the Federal Reserve would scale down its $85 billion bond-buying program in October persisted.
The Energy Index gained 0.08 percent, with U.S. crude oil futures for November delivery dropping $1.16 or 1.1 percent to close at $103.59 a barrel Monday on the Nymex.
Among energy stocks, Canadian Natural Resources Limited (CNQ.TO) lost 0.34 percent, Talisman Energy Inc. (TLM.TO) dropped 0.44 percent, and Suncor Energy Inc.(SU.TO) gained 0.76 percent. Enbridge Inc. (ENB.TO) fell 0.09 percent, while Imperial Oil Limited (IMO.TO) inched up 0.63 percent.
The Financial Index added 0.43 percent with Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) up 0.32 percent and Manulife Financial Corp. (MFC.TO) up 0.59 percent. The Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) gained 0.44 percent, while Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) gathered 0.33 percent. Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) added 0.45 percent, while National Bank of Canada (NA.TO) added 0.85 percent.
The Capped Industrials Index added 0.20 percent, with Bombardier Inc. (BBD.A.TO, BBD.B.TO) up 0.84 percent.
Biopharmaceutical company Cardiome Pharma Corp. (COM.TO) jumped 10.90 percent after revealing some positive data from an open label study in patients with atrial fibrillation.
In economic news from the eurozone, activity in Germany's private sector economy increased further in September, and at a faster rate than in the previous month, helped entirely by strong improvement in business conditions in the service sector, data from a survey conducted by Markit Economics and BME showed. The seasonally adjusted composite output index, a measure of activity in the manufacturing sector and the service sector, advanced to an eight-month high of 53.8 from 53.5 in August.
Meanwhile, the euro zone private sector recovery strengthened further in September largely due to a strong upturn in services, preliminary data from Markit Economics showed. The Purchasing Managers flash composite output index rose more-than-expected to 52.1 in September, a 27-month high, from 51.5 in August. It was forecast to rise to 51.7.
A preliminary reading of U.S. manufacturing Purchasing Managers flash showed the index to have dropped to 52.8 in September from 53.1 in August. This was the second straight monthly decline. Economists expected the index to increase to 54..
Meanwhile, a Chicago Fed report on Monday showed the index of national activity for August turning positive. The national activity index rose to +0.14 from -0.43 in July. The three-month moving average edged up to -0.18 from -0.24 in July.
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