Canada Stocks Gain 16 Pts, But 70 Pts Off Day Highs; National Bank, Blackberry, Bombardier In The News
Canada's main stock market, the Toronto Stock Exchange, steadied after losing nearly 170 points on Tuesday, today closing up 16 points, led by energy stocks on higher oil prices amid talk of the U.S. being involved in a military strike against Syria. But the index closed 70 points off midday session highs.
Gold was higher too today, albeit off session highs on some late profit-taking after an earlier run up on safe-haven buying. Perhaps, reflecting the nervousness in the markets about a Syria strike, gold stocks - which made up the first four most active stocks on the TSX - were mixed.
Much of the focus remained on the banks, with eight of them in total reporting results this week. National Bank (NA.TO) today lodged new year highs as it followed on from Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) and Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) on Tuesday in today beating Q3 profit forecasts. Excluding specified items, the third quarter net income was a record amount of $391 million, up 11% from $353 million and the quarter's diluted earnings per share stood at $2.22, up 12% from $1.98. This easily beat forecasts for $2.06.
Also in the news, BlackBerry Ltd. (BB.TO, BBRY) gained 3% at $10.85, but off a day high $11.20. It is considering spinning off its messaging service into a separate unit, the Wall Street Journal said, quoting people familiar with the matter. The subsidiary would be called BBM Inc., the newspaper said.
And in the news was Bombardier (BBD-B.TO), which rose nearly 3%. Bombardier and Rostekhnologii, a state corporation controlled by the Russian Federation, today announced that they signed a series of preliminary agreements that include a letter of intent for the sale of 50 Q400 NextGen aircraft; and a Market Development Agreement reached with Rostec and its aircraft leasing subsidiary, Avia Capital Services, that will provide an opportunity to place at least 50 additional Q400 NextGen aircraft in the region. The parties also concluded a memorandum of understanding ( MOU ) to validate the opportunity to set up a Q400 NextGen final assembly line in Russia.
The LOI, Market Development Agreement and MOU were signed at the 2013 International Aviation and Space Salon, known as the MAKS 2013 Air Show, held at Moscow's Zhukovsky Airport. Should definitive agreements be reached, based on the list price of the Q400 NextGen airliner, a firm-order contract for 100 Q400 NextGen aircraft would be valued at approximately US$3.39 billion.