(RTTNews.com) - After a weak start, the Canadian stock market has climbed back into positive territory. Gold stocks are leading the way higher this morning, as prices of the precious metal head higher.
Traders continue to keep a close eye on trade negotiations. Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland flew back to Washington on Tuesday to resume talks on NAFTA, with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.
Markets in Europe are trading modestly to the upside Wednesday. Automakers are performing well after industry data showed Europe's passenger car registrations increased at faster rates in July and August.
Markets on Wall Street are mixed Wednesday morning. The Dow Jones and the S&P 500 are up slightly in early trade, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq is falling.
The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index is up 5.17 points or 0.03 percent at 16,201.21.
On Tuesday, the index closed up by 113.73 points or 0.71 percent, at 16,196.04. The index scaled an intraday high of 16,198.67 and a low of 16,091.45.
The Gold Index is increasing 1.78 percent. B2Gold (BTO.TO) is up 1.04 percent and IAMGOLD (IMG.TO) is climbing 3.47 percent. Yamana Gold (YRI.TO) is rising 1.83 percent and Goldcorp (G.TO) is higher by 2.10 percent. Kinross Gold (K.TO) is advancing 1.28 percent and Eldorado Gold (ELD.TO) is adding 3.57 percent. Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) is gaining 1.54 percent.
The Capped Materials Index is up 1.09 percent. Franco-Nevada (FNV.TO) is increasing 0.97 percent and Agnico Eagle Mines (AEM.TO) is gaining 1.50 percent. Nutrien (NTR.TO) is rising 0.18 percent.
The heavyweight Financial Index is increasing 0.25 percent. Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) is higher by 0.23 percent and National Bank of Canada (NA.TO) is rising 0.05 percent. Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) is advancing 0.04 percent and Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) is gaining 0.38 percent. Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO) is up 0.25 percent.
The Capped Telecommunication Services Index is down 0.82 percent. BCE Inc. (BCE.TO) is losing 0.95 percent and TELUS (T.TO) is falling 0.87 percent. Rogers Communications (RCI-B.TO) is lower by 0.59 percent.
The Capped Industrials Index is down 0.70 percent. Air Canada (AC.TO) is decreasing 0.18 percent and WestJet Airlines (WJA.TO) is losing 0.05 percent. Canadian National Railway (CNR.TO) is weakening by 1.51 percent and Canadian Pacific Railway (CP.TO) is dropping 0.76 percent.
The Capped Information Technology Index is losing 0.52 percent. BlackBerry (BB.TO) is falling 0.90 percent and Sierra Wireless (SW.TO) is down 1.48 percent. Descartes Systems Group (DSG.TO) is surrendering 0.50 percent.
Aurora Cannabis Inc. (ACB.TO) is surging 12.34 percent after it announced that it has completed its previously announced distribution of Australis shares and warrants. The Australis shares and warrants will commence trading on the CSE under the symbol "AUSA" effective at the market open today.
Premium Brands Holdings Corporation (PBH.TO) is down 0.38 percent. The company has announced the successful completion of the acquisition of Ready Seafood Co., one of the leading processors, distributors and marketers of lobsters in the U.S.
On the economic front, Eurozone construction output grew at a slower pace in July reflecting contraction in civil engineering, Eurostat reported Wednesday. Construction output rose 0.3 percent month-on-month, slower than the 0.7 percent increase in June. This was the fourth consecutive rise in production.
The euro area current account surplus decreased in July largely due to a fall in visible trade surplus, the European Central Bank reported Wednesday. The current account surplus fell to a seasonally adjusted EUR 21 billion in July from EUR 24 billion in June.
UK inflation rose unexpectedly in August, squeezing consumers' disposable income even as wages showed signs of recovery.
Consumer price inflation increased to 2.7 percent in August from 2.5 percent in July, the Office for National Statistics reported Wednesday.
A similar higher rate was last seen in February. Economists had forecast inflation to ease to 2.4 percent.
A report released by the Commerce Department on Wednesday showed a sharp increase in new residential construction in the U.S. in the month of August, although the report also showed a steep drop in building permits during the month.
The Commerce Department said housing starts spiked by 9.2 percent to an annual rate of 1.282 million in August from the revised July estimate of 1.174 million. Economists had expected housing starts to jump by 5.7 percent to a rate of 1.235 million from the 1.168 million originally reported for the previous month.
Meanwhile, the report said building permits tumbled by 5.7 percent to an annual rate of 1.229 million in August from a revised 1.303 million in July.
Building permits, an indicator of future housing demand, had been expected to edge down by 0.1 percent to a rate of 1.310 million from the 1.311 million originally reported for the previous month.
In commodities, crude oil futures for October delivery are up 0.44 or 0.63 percent at $70.29 a barrel.
Natural gas for October is down 0.014 or 0.48 percent at $2.919 per million btu.
Gold futures for December are up 3.70 or 0.31 percent at $1,206.60 an ounce.
Silver for December is up 0.055 or 0.39 percent at $14.24 an ounce.
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