(RTTNews.com) - Canadian stocks ended higher for a second straight session on Tuesday, after some upbeat durable goods and consumer confidence data from the U.S., led by energy and gold stocks with commodity prices rising. The main index also gained with Tim Hortons surging after its merger deal with Burger King Worldwide.
In some positive economic news, orders for U.S. durable goods surged by a record 22.6 percent in July as Boeing signed a record number of contracts for new jets, a government report showed Tuesday. Consumer confidence in the U.S. continued to improve for a fourth consecutive month in August, with the index jumping to its highest level in almost seven years.
Nonetheless, the gains were pegged back on geopolitical worries, with the conflict in Ukraine and Libya continuing to intensify.
Investors focused on developments in Ukraine and the Middle East, even as Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Russian President Vladimir Putin are scheduled for a summit meet in Minsk in Belarus.
Meanwhile, news reports say Ukrainian forces have captured some Russian soldiers near the Donetsk region. In the Gaza Strip, Israel has stepped up pressure on Hamas, bombing two high-rise structures in the city.
Miners and energy stocks led the index higher, supported by key stocks from consumer discretionary and telecom sectors.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index closed Monday at 15,619.21, up 20.47 points or 0.13 percent, to end at an all-time high closing. The index scaled a intraday high of 15,653.39 and a low of 15,599.50.
On Monday, the index ended up 63.19 points or 0.41 percent at 15,598.74, a new all-time closing high.
The Consumer Discretionary Index added 0.46 percent, with Tim Hortons Inc. (THI.TO) surging 8.14 percent. Burger King Worldwide Inc. ( BKW ) is set to acquire the Tim Hortons in a deal worth US$11.4 billion, of which C$65.50 will be in cash and 0.8025 common shares of the new company for each Tim Hortons share. The new publicly-listed company would be headquartered in Canada.
Crude oil ended higher on worries over the escalating geopolitical tensions in the Middle East and Ukraine, even as concerns of a supply glut persisted.
The Energy Index added 0.50 percent, with U.S. crude oil futures for September gaining $0.51 or 0.5 percent to close at $93.86 a barrel Tuesday on the Nymex.
Among energy stocks, Cenovus Energy Inc. (CVE.TO) gained 0.41 percent, Enbridge Inc. (ENB.TO) slipped 0.78 percent, Suncor Energy Inc. (SU.TO) surrendered 0.32 percent, Encana Corp. (ECA.TO) moved up 0.45 percent, and Canadian Natural Resources Limited (CNQ.TO) gained 1.16 percent.
The Financial Index dropped 0.49 percent, with Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) shedding 0.37 percent.
Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) declined 2.35 percent, despite its third-quarter profit rising 35 percent to C$2.35 billion, from last year. Quarterly earnings per share jumped to C$1.85 from C$1.36 a year ago.
Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) added 0.43 percent, after having reported adjusted third quarter net income of C$1.162 billion, up 4 percent from a particularly strong third quarter a year ago. Adjusted earnings per share were C$1.73, up 4 percent from C$1.66 a year ago.
Among other major banks, Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) shed 0.42 percent, Canadian Imperial Bank Of Commerce (CM.TO) slipped 0.28 percent, and National Bank of Canada (NA.TO) down 0.48 percent.
Gold futures ended higher despite an uptick in global equity market amid some upbeat durable goods and consumer confidence data from the U.S., with the dollar getting stronger.
Global Gold Index jumped 1.78 percent, with gold for December delivery gaining $6.30 or 0.5 percent to close at $1,285.20 an ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange Tuesday.
Among gold stocks, B2Gold Corp. (BTO.TO) jumped 4.18 percent, Yamana Gold Inc. (YRI.TO) added 2.0 percent, Eldorado Gold Corp. (ELD.TO) gained 4.30 percent, and Barrick Gold Corp. (ABX.TO) moved up 1.01 percent.
The Capped Materials Index gained 1.06 percent mostly on gold stocks, with Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. (POT.TO) shedding 0.49 percent.
The Diversified Metals & Mining Index added 0.79 percent, with First Quantum Minerals Ltd. (FM.TO) up 1.0 percent, Lundin Mining Corp. (LUN.TO) up 0.66 percent, and Teck Resources Limited (TCK.B.TO) adding 0.84 percent.
The Capped Industrials Index dipped 0.06 percent, with Air Canada (AC.B.TO) sliding 2.91 percent.
The Capped Telecommunications Index moved up 0.38 percent, with Rogers Communications Inc. (RCI.B.TO) slipping 0.11 percent and BCE Inc. (BCE.TO) gaining 0.18 percent.
The Information Technology Index added 0.43 percent, with BlackBerry Limited (BB.TO) edging up 0.09 percent.
The Healthcare Index moved up 0.42 percent, with Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. (VRX.TO) adding 1.13 percent.
Agrium Inc. (AGU.TO) gained 1.26 percent after its subsidiary Loveland Products acquired a controlling interest in Agricen, a Dallas-area agricultural biotechnology company engaged in delivering biochemical-based products for efficient and sustainable plant nutrition.
In economic news from the U.S., a report from the Labor Department showed durable goods orders to have surged up by a much better than expected 22.6 percent in July, lifted by a record number of contracts for new jets from Boeing. However, excluding transportation, orders slumped 0.8 percent, against forecasts for an increase of 0.4 percent.
Meanwhile, a report released by the Conference Board showed consumer confidence in the U.S. to have improved for the fourth consecutive month in August, with the index jumping to 92.4, the highest level since October 2007, from a revised 90.3 in July.
U.S. home prices in major cities continued to rise in June but at a slower pace than the previous month, the S&P/Case-Shiller's 20-city composite index data showed Tuesday.
Home prices were up 1 percent in June, following a 1.1 percent month-over-month increase in May. The result was in line with economist estimates. The pace of annual growth in home prices slowed to an 8.1 percent increase in June, compared with annual growth of 9.4 percent in May.
China's economy continued to expand in July at a steady pace, a survey from the Conference Board showed with as its leading index adding 1.3 percent. This follows the 1.3 percent increase in June and the 0.7 percent gain in May. The coincident index added 1.2 percent in July after gaining 0.9 percent in June and 0.7 percent in May.
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