(RTTNews.com) - The Canadian stock market shrugged off a slightly listless start and edged higher on Tuesday, led by gains in materials, consumer discretionary and healthcare sections.
Better than expected GDP data for May and some strong earnings reports aided sentiment.
According to data released by Statistics Canada, GDP climbed 0.5% in May, beating expectations. GDP was expected to rise 0.4%.
A separate report showed that the Canadian industrial product price index rose by 0.5% in June.
The benchmark S&P/TSX ended up 88.54 points or 0.54% at 16,434.01, well off an early low of 16,324.66. On Monday, the index ended down 48.48 points or 0.3% at 16,345.47.
The Capped Materials Index ended up 1.17%. First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO) climbed up over 6% after reporting net earnings of $135 million for the quarter ended June 2018, as against net loss of $35 million in the year-ago quarter.
Teck Resources (TECK.B.TO) moved up 2.8%, while Methanex Corporation (MX.TO) and Nutrien (NTR.TO) both gained 1.8%.
Among energy stocks, Encana Corporation (ECA.TO), Imperial Oil (IMO.TO) gained 1.1%, PrairieSky Royalty (PSK,TO), Husky Energy Inc. (HSE.TO) and Tourmaline Oil Corp. (TOU.TO) gained 1 to 2.1%.
The Consumer Discretionary Index ended nearly 1% up. Canada Goose Holdings Inc. (GOOS.TO) ended 3.7% up. Magna International Inc. (MG.TO), Restaurant Brands International Inc. (QSR.TO), Dollarama Inc. (DOL.TO), Shaw Communications Inc. (SJR.B.TO), Canadian Tire Corporation (CTC.A.TO) and Gildan Activewear Inc. (GIL.TO) gained 1 to 2%.
Among bank stocks, Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO), Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) and Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) moved up 0.2 to 0.5%. Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO) edged up marginally, while Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) declined by 0.8%.
The Capped Healthcare Index moved up 1.2%. Canopy Growth Corporation (WEED.TO), Knight Therapeutics Inc. (GUD.TO) and Extendicare Inc. (EXE.TO) gained 1 to 1.6%. Aurora Cannabis Inc. (ACB.TO) gained more than 3%.
Aphria Inc. (APH.TO) gained 3.5%. The company announced that it is has secured $25 million in debt financing from WFCU Credit Union. The five-year term loan bears interest at 4.68%, has a 15-year amortization.
WestJet (WJA.TO) plunged more than 8% on weak results. The airliner reported a net loss of $20.8 million, or $0.18 per fully diluted share for the second quarter, as against net earnings of $48.6 million, or $0.41 per fully diluted
share reported in the second quarter of 2017.
George Weston Limited (WN.TO) has reported diluted net earnings per common share of $0.21 for the quarter ended June 2018, down almost 83%, compared to $1.23 a year ago. The stock declined by about 1.3%.
Aecon Group Inc. (ARE.TO) has announced that Mikisew Aecon Limited Partnership, a newly formed joint venture between Aecon and Mikisew Group of Companies has been awarded a Master Service Agreement by Fort Hills Energy L.P. for work on the Fort Hills oil sands project, located north of Fort McMurray, Alberta. The stock advanced by nearly 2%.
In commodities, crude oil futures for September ended down $1.37 or almost 2%, at $68.76 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Gold futures for August were up $1.40, or 0.11%, at $1,222.70 an ounce. Gold futures for December, the most active contract, settled at $1,233.60 an ounce, up $2.10, or 0.2%.
Silver futures for September were up $0.033, or 0.21%, at $15.570 an ounce. Copper futures for September were higher by $0.040, or 1.43%, at $2.832 per pound.
In U.S. economic news, a report released by the Conference Board revealed that consumer confidence showed a modest rebound in the month of July, after an unexpected deterioration in the previous month. The Conference Board's consumer confidence index inched up to 127.4 in July from an upwardly revised 127.1 in June.
The uptick by the headline index reflected an improvement in consumers' assessment of present-day conditions, with the present situation index climbing to 165.9 in July from 161.7 in June.
The percent of consumers saying business conditions are "good" rose to 38.0 percent from 37.2 percent, while those saying conditions are "bad" dipped to 10.1 percent from 11.5 percent.
Meanwhile, the report showed a continued drop in consumers' optimism about the short-term outlook, as the expectations index fell to 101.7 in July from 104.0 in June.
In economic news from Eurozone, a preliminary flash estimate from Eurostate showed that the euro area economy grew at a slower pace in the second quarter, with GDP growing 0.3% from the first quarter. The economy had expanded 0.4% in the first quarter. On a yearly basis, GDP growth eased to 2.1% from 2.5% in the previous quarter.
Another report from Eurostat said the unemployment rate held steady at the lowest level since December 2008, with the jobless rate coming in at 8.3% in June, in line with expectations. The number of unemployed increased by 14,000
from the previous month to 13.57 million in June.
Meanwhile, eurozone inflation accelerated for a third straight month in July to its highest level since late 2012. The harmonized index of consumer prices rose 2.1% year-on-year in July, after climbing 2% in June. Economists had
expected the rate to remain unchanged.
In news from Germany, unemployment decreased less than expected in July, reports said citing data from Federal Labor Agency on Tuesday. The number of unemployed fell by 6,000 in July from June compared to expected decline of 10,000. The jobless rate held steady at 5.2 percent in July, in line with expectations, which was the lowest since German reunification.
Markets in Asia closed on a dull note overnight, with investors digesting some mixed economic news from China and Japan. The Japanese central bank tweaked its monetary policy to make it flexible. The BoJ, which retained interest rate at -0.1%, said it will conduct purchases of government bonds in a flexible manner so that the outstanding amount will increase at an annual pace of about JPY 80 trillion.
Major European markets are somewhat lackluster amid narrow movements, as investors look ahead to policy meetings of the US Federal Reserve and the Bank of England.
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