By RTT News, October 23, 2013, 11:34:00 AM EDT
(RTTNews.com) - Canadian stocks were extending gains for a seventh straight session Wednesday morning as traders digest upbeat earnings reports from nation's railroad operators, with the Bank of Canada leaving its overnight rate unchanged.
The Bank of Canada today said it is maintaining its target for the overnight rate at 1 percent, as widely expected. The bank said uncertain global and domestic economic conditions are delaying the pick-up in exports and business investment, leaving the level of economic activity lower than the Bank had been expecting.
Elsewhere, Asian stocks erased early gains to settle broadly lower overnight, with talk of tighter money market conditions in China and concerns about the tepid U.S. recovery weighing on sentiment. Expectations that the Federal Reserve will keep stimulus measures going for longer helped to limit the downside to some extent. The European markets were trading lower, with banks pacing the decliners after the European Central Bank said that it would submit the euro zone's top banks to a comprehensive batch of tests next year to rebuild confidence in the banking sector.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index gained 43.40 points or 0.33 percent to 13,291.46, after gaining 350 points or nearly 3 percent in the past six straight sessions.
Railroad operator Canadian National Railway (CNR.TO) gained nearly 4 percent after reporting third quarter net income of C$705 million or C$1.67 per share up from C$664 million or C$1.52 per share in the prior-year quarter. Separately, the company approved a fourth-quarter 2013 cash dividend, a new share repurchase program, and a two-for-one stock split of the company's common shares outstanding.
Canadian Pacific Railway (CP.TO) jumped over 6 percent after reporting a 45 percent jump in its third quarter profit.
Latest data from the EIA revealed that US crude oil inventories jumped 5.20 million barrels and gasoline stocks were down 1.80 million barrels in the weekended October 18. Analysts expected crude oil inventories to gain 1.7 million barrels and gasoline stocks to ease by 0.1 million barrels last week.
The price of crude oil was extending losses Wednesday morning, dipping near its four month, with Crude for December losing $1.93 to $96.37 a barrel.
In the oil patch, Encana Corp. (ECA.TO) gained over 3 percent after reporting net earnings of $188 million or $0.25 per share for its third-quarter. Operating earnings decreased to $150 million or $0.20 per share, from $263 million or $0.36 per share, last year. Analysts expected the company to report profit per share of $0.16 for the quarter.
The price of gold was moving lower Wednesday morning, paring its previous session's smart gains, the amid a generally steady US dollar. Gold for December shed $7.20 to $1,335.40 an ounce.
Among gold plays, Barrick Gold (ABX.TO), Goldcorp. (G.TO) and Agnico-Eagle Mines (AEM.TO) were up nearly 1 percent each
In economic news from the U.S., the Labor Department said import prices rose by 0.2 percent in September, matching the revised increase reported for August as well as economist estimates. Additionally, the Labor Department said export prices rose by 0.3 percent in September after falling by 0.5 percent in the previous month. Economists had expected export prices to edge down by 0.1 percent.
Elsewhere, Bank of England policymakers unanimously decided to keep the interest rate at a record low 0.50 percent and quantitative easing unchanged at GBP 375 billion, the minutes of the meeting showed. "With unemployment remaining above the 7 percent threshold, the Committee's forward guidance therefore remained in place and no MPC member thought it appropriate to tighten the stance of monetary policy at the current juncture," it showed.
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