Canadian Stocks Higher; Metals & Mining, Healthcare Leading Gains
Canadian stocks are broadly higher today with the S&P/TSX Composite index climbing about 72 points, having been up around 100 points earlier. Bullish sentiment has been pushing North American markets higher from the off, with the Dow reaching all time highs.
Most industry sectors are trading higher, with only shares of consumer staples and utility companies - both traditionally defensive plays - trending lower this afternoon. Metals & Mining and Healthcare stocks are posting the best gains, both rising more than 1% respectively.
Financial stocks are being helped along by Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO, BNS) hiting new year highs after reporting a better-than-expected C$1.27 a share profit, ex items, in its fiscal Q1. The result, up from C$1.22 a share in the year-ago quarter and beating analyst expectations by $0.02, was supported by the bank's $3-bln acquisition of ING Groep's one-time online bank operations in Canada, boosting BNS' loans and deposits.
Also today, BCE Inc. (BCE.TO, BCE) has hit year highs after Canada's Competition Bureau cleared the company's proposed acquisition of Astral Media Inc. (ACM-A.TO) for around $3 billion on the condition BCE sell off some of its pay- and speciality-television assets.
Corus Entertainment Inc. (CJR-B.TO) is slightly lower now but it too hit new year highs earlier after it agreed to buy most of those assets as part of a combined C$494 million deal that also includes selected assets being spun off by Shaw Communications Inc. (SJR-B.TO, SJR), another year high hit maker.