By RTT News,
February 04, 2014, 05:18:00 PM EDT
(RTTNews.com) - Canadian stocks ended higher on Tuesday, tracking mostly rising U.S. equity markets helped by rising oil prices, even as investor concerns persisted with some mixed economic data in the last two days.
The economic growth concerns linked to the emerging markets remained, with some soft U.S. manufactured goods data. New orders for U.S. manufactured goods showed a notable pullback in December, due largely to a steep drop in orders for transportation equipment. Nonetheless, the drop was less than what analysts expected.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index closed Tuesday at 13,504.48, up 18.28 points or 0.14 percent. The index scaled an intraday high of 13,506.93 and a low of 13,463.36.
The Global Gold Index dropped 0.12 percent, with gold futures for April delivery, the most actively traded contract, shedding $8.70 or 0.8 percent to close at $1,251.20 an ounce Tuesday on the Nymex.
Among gold stocks, Goldcorp Inc. (G.TO) gained 1.24 percent, while Barrick Gold Corp. (ABX.TO) shed 0.98 percent. Yamana Gold Inc. (YRI.TO) gained 0.97 percent, while Kinross Gold Corp. (K.TO) added 1.19 percent.
The Capped Materials Index gained 0.48 percent, with Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. (POT.TO) up 0.17 percent.
Crude oil ended higher ahead of the closely watched official supply data from the Energy Information Administration, while tracking rising natural gas prices.
The Energy Index gained 0.76 percent, with U.S. crude oil futures for March delivery, the most actively traded contract, adding $0.76 or 0.8 percent to close at $97.19 a barrel Tuesday on the Nymex.
Among energy stocks, Canadian Natural Resources Limited (CNQ.TO) moved up 2.30 percent, while Encana Corp. (ECA.TO) jumped 4.29 percent. Talisman Energy Inc. (TLM.TO) moved up 0.34 percent.
Suncor Energy Inc. (SU.TO) shed 1.77 percent, even as the company hiked its dividend by 15 percent to 23 cents per share, its second dividend boost in less than a year.
The Information Technology Index added 1.22 percent, with smartphone maker BlackBerry Limited (BB.TO) surging 5.56 percent.
The Diversified Metals & Mining Index moved up 0.26 percent, with Lundin Mining Corp. (LUN.TO) up 1.28 percent, and First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO) down 1.17 percent.
Teck Resources Limited (TCK.B.TO) added 0.27 percent. The company said it was investigating a spill at its Trail smelting complex in British Columbia. The chemical is expected to have little environmental impact, according to the Vancouver Sun.
The Financial Index slid 0.24 percent with Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) down 0.64 percent and the Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) down 0.58 percent. Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) surrendered 0.33 percent, and Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) dropped 0.56 percent. Manulife Financial Corp. (MFC.TO) gained 0.66 percent.
The Capped Industrials Index moved up 0.83 percent, with Bombardier Inc. (BBD.B.TO) gaining 2.27 percent and Air Canada (AC.B.TO) shedding 1.56 percent.
WestJet Airlines Ltd. (WJA.TO) gained 3.42 percent after reporting a fourth-quarter profit of C$67.8 million or C$0.52 per share, up from C$60.9 million or C$0.46 per share a year ago. Analysts expected the company to report a profit of C$0.52 per share for the quarter.
Bell Aliant Inc. (BA.TO) added 2.11 percent after reporting $69 million in quarterly net income, up $3.3 million from a year ago. Adjusted earnings of 38 cents a share beat estimates of 35 cents.
In economic news, new orders for U.S. manufactured goods dropped with factory orders for December falling 1.5 percent following a revised 1.5 percent increase in November. Economists expected orders to drop by about 1.8 percent compared to the 1.8 percent growth originally reported for the previous month. The drop in factory orders largely reflect a sharp pullback in orders for transportation equipment, which tumbled by 9.7 percent in December after jumping by 8.1 percent in November.
From the eurozone, the German economy is set to expand at a faster pace this year than estimated earlier, supported mainly by the improving trend in external demand, the country's Chamber of Commerce (DIHK) said Tuesday. The agency expects gross domestic product to grow 2 percent this year, which has been revised up from the 1.7 percent growth forecast earlier. Exports are expected to grow sharply by 4.5 percent in 2014, which marks a major improvement from last year's growth rate of 0.6 percent. But strong imports, projected to grow 5.5 percent, are seen offsetting the input from exports.
Meanwhile, Germany's plant and machinery order intake declined in December as both domestic and foreign demand weakened at the end of the year, the industry group VDMA revealed Tuesday. Order intake fell 6 percent in December from last year, in contrast to the 7 percent growth registered in November. Domestic sales plunged 10 percent and foreign orders dipped 4 percent.
Elsewhere in Europe, British construction sector expanded at the fastest pace in nearly six-and-half years in January as strong order growth boosted activity across all sectors, with residential building rising to a ten-year high. Survey data released by Markit Economics and the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply on Tuesday showed that the seasonally adjusted U.K. purchasing managers' index for the construction sector climbed to 64.6 in January from 62.1 in December.
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