TSX Ends Modestly Higher -- Canadian Commentary

By RTT News, 
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(RTTNews.com) - Canadian stocks ended higher for a second straight session Tuesday, tracking rising global equity markets, led by energy stocks amid higher oil prices and some strong earnings reports aiding sentiment.

Investors largely ignored some disappointing global economic data including reports from the U.S. that showed retail sales to have grown less than expected in April and business inventories also short of estimates.

Gold stocks came in mixed, tracking sluggish bullion prices, even as energy stocks were lifted by encouraging earnings reports and higher crude oil prices.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index closed Tuesday at 14,679.81, up 24.87 points or 0.17 percent. The index scaled an intraday high of 14,687.76 and a low of 14,636.50.

Yesterday, the index closed higher on positive global cues and amid hopes of some Chinese economic reforms.

The Energy Index gained 0.72 percent, with U.S. crude oil futures for June delivery gaining $1.11 or 1.1 percent to close at $101.70 a barrel Tuesday on the Nymex.

Encana Corp. (ECA.TO) gained 1.99 percent after the oil producer said it earned $116 million or $0.16 per share in the first quarter 2014, as against a loss of $431 million in the prior-year quarter.

Aurora Oil & Gas Limited (AEF:TO) jumped 6.23 percent following an announcement from Baytex Energy Corp. (BTE.TO) that it has increased the offer price to A$4.20 per share for acquiring Aurora. Baytex Energy Corp. shares slipped 0.20 percent.

Among other energy stocks, Husky Energy Inc. (HSE.TO) gained 0.93 percent, Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. (CNQ.TO) added 0.52 percent, and Suncor Energy Inc. (SU.TO) gathered 0.83 percent. Crew Energy Inc. (CR.TO) added 0.95 percent.

Canadian Oil Sands Limited (COS.TO) gained 0.63 percent, while Talisman Energy Inc. (TLM.TO) added 0.26 percent.

Petrowest Corp. (PRW.TO) gained 4.50 percent, Parex Resources Inc. (PXT.TO) added 4.27 percent, and Pembina Pipeline Corporation (PPL.TO) added 2.21 percent.

The Capped Healthcare Index gained 0.41 percent as Catamaran Corp. (CCT.TO) moved up 1.37 percent and Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc. (VRX.TO) slipped 0.22 percent.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals said it plans to improve its offer for Botox maker Allergan Inc. ( AGN ), to demonstrate its commitment to getting this deal done, based on Allergan shareholders feedback, at May 28th webcast.

The Global Gold Index slipped 0.66 percent, with gold futures for June delivery dropping $1.00 percent to close at $1,294.80 an ounce Tuesday on the Nymex.

Among gold stocks, Yamana Gold Inc. (YRI.TO) slipped 0.38 percent, Osisko Mining Corp. (OSK.TO) down 0.87 percent, Barrick Gold Corp. (ABX.TO) dipped 0.40 percent, and Agnico Eagle Mines Limited (AEM.TO) down 1.50 percent. Kinross Gold Corp. (K.TO) moved up 0.34 percent.

Yamana Gold announced that Daniel Racine has joined the company as Senior Vice President, Canadian Operations and Mine Planning & Development, effective immediately.

The Capped Materials Index dipped 0.03 percent, although Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. (POT.TO) added 1.07 percent.

The Financial Index added 0.19 percent with the Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) up 0.24 percent, Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) up 0.05 percent, The Bank of Nova Scotia ( BNS ) up 0.05 percent, and Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) up 0.38 percent.

The Diversified Metals & Mining Index dropped 0.18 percent, with Lundin Mining Corp. (LUN.TO) down 1.11 percent, First Quantum Minerals Ltd. (FM.TO) down 0.27 percent, and Teck Resources Limited (TCK.B.TO) up 0.67 percent.

The Information Technology Index gathered 0.46 percent, with BlackBerry Limited (BB.TO) up 0.43 percent, Constellation Software Inc (CSU.TO) up 0.80 percent, and Celestica Inc. (CLS.TO) up 1.73 percent. Avigilon Corp. (AVO.TO) jumped 8.42 percent.

The Capped Industrials Index shed 0.31 percent, with Bombardier Inc. (BBD.B.TO) up 0.24 percent and Air Canada (AC.B) up 3.89 percent.

In corporate news, Manitoba Telecom Services Inc. (MBT.TO) slipped 0.52 percent after reporting earnings of $0.54 per share for the first quarter, up 17.4 percent from the corresponding quarter last year.

Orbit Garant Drilling Inc. (OGD.TO) dropped 2.63 percent after reporting a net loss of $2.9 million or $0.09 per share in the third quarter, compared to a net loss of $0.6 million or $0.02 per share in the year-ago quarter.

Tricon Capital Group Inc. (TCN.TO) gained 0.32 percent after reporting first quarter adjusted net income that increased 50 percent to $12.4 million, compared to last year.

WSP Global Inc. (WSP.TO) added 0.50 percent after reporting first quarter net earnings attributable to shareholders of $17.3 million or $0.33 per share, up from a year ago.

In economic news from the U.S., retail sales rose just 0.1 percent in April, a Commerce Department report showed. Economists expected retail sales to rise 0.4 percent month-over-month in April. Excluding the auto sector, retail sales came in unchanged in April compared to a 1.0 percent increase in March.

Business inventories rose 0.4 percent in March following an upwardly revised 0.5 percent increase in February, another report from the Commerce Department showed. Economists expected inventories to rise 0.5 percent. The report showed a significant increase in inventories at merchant wholesalers, which jumped by 1.1 percent in March after climbing by 0.7 percent in February.

Meanwhile, import prices declined by a seasonally adjusted 0.4 percent in April after a revised 0.4 percent gain in March, the U.S. Labor Department said. Export prices declined 1.0 percent in April. The consensus estimate called for a 0.2 percent month-over-month increase in export prices and a 0.4 percent increase in import prices.

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This article appears in: News Headlines

Referenced Stocks: ABX , AEM , AGN , BMO , BNS

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