TSX Recoups Big Early Losses And Closes Up For First Day In Four; Tim Hortons and Athabasca Oil In The News


Canada's main stock market, the Toronto Stock Exchange, recovered after being down around 65 points early Wednesday and despite closing nearly 20 points down from late morning highs, it still managed to hold on to some of its gains and close 14 points higher - thus ending a three day losing streak.

The resources heavy index was supported by gold prices . They ended the U.S. day session above the key US$1,300.00 level Wednesday, buoyed by safe-haven demand and short covering on renewed geopolitical concerns, including fears of more violence in Ukraine amid reports Russia had troops on the border.

Also boosting sentiment, Canada early Wednesday reported the trade surplus was C$1.86 billion in June, the widest since December 2011. Some economists forecast a balanced account.

Helping to cap gains, economic data out of Italy suggested that country was back in recession. Meanwhile, Bloomberg was reporting that gasoline futures rallied while crude oil slipped to a six-month low as refineries slowed their operations, pushing gasoline inventories down by the most in four months.

Among sectors, most were lower, with Info Tech and Financials bucking the trend. BNN TV said Wednesday that trading volumes were up about 12% on normal. 149 million shares changed hands.

Among individual stocks in the news, fast food retailer Tim Hortons (THI.TO, THI) jumped to record highs Wednesday as it reported second quarter EPS of $0.92. According to Capital IQ figures available through Bloomberg, the average forecast of 11 analysts was for EPS of $0.86 or $0.87. Looking ahead, the company expects 2014 EPS and U.S. same-store sales growth to be a the high end or slightly above a target $3.17-$3.27 per share.

Elsewhere, Athabasca Oil Corp. (ATH.TO) gained near 5%. Bloomberg reported that will make a C$49 million payment to PetroChina Co., lowering the purchase price of the Dover oil-sands project in a bid to help complete the deal. Bloomberg cited the company as saying the payment will address claims by PetroChina for future abandonment costs for oil and natural gas wells and will be contingent on the completion of the put option. Not including the payment, the net value of the put option is now C$1.23 billion, Bloomberg said.

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