Canada Stocks Close Higher; Fed Leaves QE Unchanged; Most Sectors Higher Led by Metals and Mining
Canadian stocks gained 97 points on Wednesday, buoyed by news from the Federal Reserve that U.S. rates will remain unchanged, and its bond purchase program will not be reduced, at least for the foreseeable future. Canada stocks were down around 30 points around the time of the news, and were up close to 130 points with an hour to go before some profit taking effect. Most sectors were higher, with Metals and Mining the biggest percentage gainer, up 2.8%, led by gold stocks.
Most market participants were caught off guard as the Federal Reserve announced that its bond purchase program would remain unchanged, as opposed to the $10-15 billion dollar cut in purchases expected by economists. The Fed's economic forecasts remained steady, and according to Chairman Bernanke, the assessment of current economic conditions did not warrant a change in monetary policy.
Gold prices surged after the Fed announcement. Gold on the COMEX exchange rallied $47.5 to close at $1,356.9.
B2Gold (BTO.TO) up 12.5% with more than 8 million shares traded was most active share, with no fresh stock specific news driving volume. IAMGOLD Corporation (IMG.TO) was the next most active share. Today the company announced that it will be starting an initial 2,000 to 4,000 meter drill program on Tolima's ANCAL project, following the issuance last week of all necessary water use permits from the local environmental authority. The stock closed up 10% with 7 million shares changing hands.