By RTT News, March 20, 2013, 04:41:00 PM EDT
(RTTNews.com) - Canadian stocks snapped a two-day loss to settle higher Wednesday, tracking rising global equity markets led mostly mining and energy stocks with oil prices rebounding. Investor sentiment improved after the U.S. Federal Reserve said it would continue supporting the monetary stimulus in place.
Meanwhile, the looming eurozone crisis took a backseat, even as the Cypriot parliament voted to reject a controversial measure to tax deposits in banks as part of a bailout agreement with international lenders.
Cyprus parliament on Tuesday rejected a proposed levy on bank deposits in return for a 10 billion euros European bailout, putting the rescue deal in shambles. Lawmakers voted 36-0 to reject the bill, while the ruling party abstained. Meanwhile, Eurogroup Chairman Jeroen Dijsselbloem, who is also the Dutch Finance Minister, said the EU stands ready to help Cyprus, provided it adheres to the bailout conditions.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index closed Wednesday at 12,826.55, up 52.68 points or 0.41 percent. The index touched an intraday high of 12,828.55 and a low of 12,776.02.
The Global Gold Index shed 0.48 percent, with gold futures for April delivery, dropping $3.80 or 0.2 percent to close at $1,607.50 an ounce Tuesday on the Nymex.
Among gold stocks, Barrick Gold Corp. (ABX.TO) shed 0.17 percent, Yamana Gold Inc. (YRI.TO) dropped 0.32 percent, and Gold Corp. (G.TO) edged up 0.33 percent.
The Capped Materials Index gained 0.10 percent, with Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc.(POT.TO) gaining 0.83 percent.
The Diversified Metals & Mining Index gained 1.37 percent, with First Quantum Minerals Ltd. (FM.TO) up 2.80 percent, Inmet Mining Corp. (IMN.TO) up 1.28 percent, and Osisko Mining Corp. (OSK.TO) up 0.34 percent. Lundin Mining Corp. (LUN.TO) fell 0.43 percent, while Teck Resources Limited (TCK.B.TO) gained 2.53 percent.
The Energy Index edged up 0.24 percent, with U.S. crude oil futures for May delivery jumping $0.98 or 1.1 percent to close at $93.50 a barrel Tuesday on the Nymex.
Among energy stocks, Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) gained 1.02 percent, while Suncor Energy Inc. (SU.TO) edged up 0.10 percent. Husky Energy Inc. (HSE.TO) shed 0.30 percent, while Encana Corp. (ECA.TO) slipped 1.39 percent.
The Financial Index slipped 0.13 percent, with Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) down 0.20 percent, Manulife Financial Corp. (MFC.TO) up 1.12 percent, and Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) gathered 0.25 percent. Royal Bank (RY.TO) gained 0.51 percent, while Canadian Imperial Bank Of Commerce (CM.TO) was down 0.01 percent. TD Bank (TD.TO) edged down 0.19 percent.
The Information Technology Index surged 2.63 percent, with BlackBerry Inc. (BB.TO) soaring 7.20 percent.
The Capped Industrials Index gained 1.12 percent, with Bombardier Inc. (BBD.A.TO, BBD.B.TO) up 1.43 percent.
Home improvement retailer Rona Inc. (RON.TO) gathered 0.18 percent after naming Robert Sawyer President and CEO, effective April.
Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc. (VRX.TO) added 2.54 percent after announcing a deal to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Obagi Medical Products Inc. ( OMPI ) for $19.75 per share cash, representing a 28 percent premium to Obagi's closing share price on March 19, 2013, the last trading day prior to announcement.
Mexico focused gold miner Timmins Gold Corp. (TMM.TO) gained 0.35 percent after reporting fourth quarter earnings of $12 million, up slightly from the prior-year earnings of $11.53 million. Earnings per share edged up to $0.09 from $0.08 last year.
Medical diagnostics & research company TearLab Corp. (TLB.TO) gained 5.69 percent after reporting a fourth-quarter net loss of about $3.7 million, or $0.13 per share, compared to a net loss of $3.5 million, or $0.17 per share last year. Analysts expected a loss of $0.10 per share.
The Federal Reserve's monetary policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee statement showed little change from the policy in January. As was widely expected, the FOMC decided to keep the target range for the federal funds rate at zero to 0.25 percent and said it would continue its asset purchase program at a pace of $85 billion a month. However, the Fed noted that information received since the last FOMC meeting in January suggests a return to moderate economic growth following a pause late last year.
In economic news from the eurozone, Germany's producer price inflation slowed more than economists expected in February, data from the Federal Statistical Office showed. The producer price index increased 1.2 percent on an annual basis in February, notably slower than the 1.7 percent gain seen in January. Economists expected a 1.5 percent increase.
Elsewhere in Europe, Bank of England Governor Mervyn King and two other policymakers voted to increase the quantitative easing, while other six members said further stimulus will raise inflationary risk, minutes of the meeting held on March 6 and 7 showed Meanwhile, all other members voted to retain the asset purchase program at GBP 375 billion.
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