By RTT News, September 26, 2013, 11:11:00 AM EDT
(RTTNews.com) - Canadian stocks were hovering in the green Thursday morning as traders digest today's batch of upbeat macroeconomic data out of the US. However, continued worries over a possible government shutdown in the U.S. capped big gains.
The U.S. Government will reach its borrowing limit next month and the debt ceiling has to be raised by Congress, which requires a consensus between the White House and the Republican lawmakers.
Treasury Secretary Jack Lew sent a letter to Congress on Wednesday warning that the extraordinary measures the Treasury is employing to preserve U.S. borrowing capacity would be exhausted no later than October 17.
The U.S. Senate voted unanimously to approve a stopgap funding bill to keep the government from running out of money next week. The vote occurred after a marathon speech by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and his allies in opposition to the President Obama's health care law. Democrats in the Senate are expected to alter the bill to strip the language defunding Obamacare before sending it back to the House. The Republican leadership would then have to decide whether to bring the Senate bill up for a vote or risk a government shutdown.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index rose 20.58 points or 0.16 percent to 12,857.29.
The price of crude oil was ticking higher Thursday morning on bargain hunting. Yesterday, oil extended losses for a fifth-straight session after a report from the Energy Information Administration showed crude stockpiles in the U.S. to have risen more than expected last week. With easing geopolitical tensions in the Middle East, and Iran and the U.S. on a dialogue, supply concerns have significantly faded, easing upward pressure on oil prices. Crude for November gathered $0.09 to $102.75 a barrel.
In the oil patch, Suncor Energy (SU.TO), Cenovus Energy (CVE.TO) and Imperial Oil (IMO.TO) were up around 1 percent each.
Husky Energy (HSE.TO) jumped nearly 4 percent after providing operations update noting that it is progressing its Atlantic Region growth pillar with a focus on several recent exploration discoveries and advancement of near-field development projects.
Among base-metals stocks, Teck Resources (TCK_B.TO) gained close to 3 percent.
The price of gold was moving lower Thursday morning, with investors turning cautious as the US government yet to pass budget. The U.S. Government will reach its borrowing limit of $16.7 trillion next month. The debt ceiling has to be raised by Congress, which requires a consensus between the White House and the Republican lawmakers. Gold for December lost $9.90 to $1,326.30 an ounce.
Gold miner Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) slipped nearly 1 percent after announcing that the Supreme Court of Chile has issued a ruling that upholds the environmental approval for the Pascua-Lama project in Chile.
Seabridge Gold (SEA.TO) lost over 3 percent, while Agnico-Eagle Mines (AEM.TO) and Goldcorp. (G.TO) shedding around 1 percent each.
In economic news from the U.S., the Labor Department said initial jobless claims fell to 305,000 in the week ended September 21, a decrease of 5,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 310,000. The modest decrease came as a surprise to economists, who had expected jobless claims to climb to 325,000 from the 309,000 originally reported for the previous week.
Separately, the Commerce Department noted that US GDP increased by 2.5 percent in the second quarter, unchanged from the previous estimate. Economists had expected the pace of growth to be upwardly revised to 2.6 percent. The pace of GDP growth in the second quarter still represents a notable acceleration from the 1.1 percent growth reported for the first quarter.
Meanwhile, the National Association of Realtors said its pending home sales index eased 1.6 percent to 107.7 in August from a downwardly revised 109.4 in July. Economists had been expecting the index to decrease by about 1.0 percent.
Elsewhere, euro zone broad money supply growth accelerated in August, while loans to private sector declined further, the European Central Bank said. The broad monetary aggregate M3 grew 2.3 percent from a year ago, in line with forecast, after rising 2.2 percent in July.
Confidence among French consumers improved for a third consecutive month to reach a seven-month high in September, the latest figures from the statistical office Insee showed. The headline consumer confidence index rose to 85 in September from 84 in August. The outcome was in line with expectations. The reading was the highest since February, when the index scored 86.
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