(RTTNews.com) - The Canadian stock market ended sharply higher on Wednesday on rising oil prices and optimism about a U.S.-China striking a trade agreement before a March 1st deadline.
The mood was so bullish in the market that stock prices kept moving higher and higher as the session progressed. Mirroring widespread buying, all the sectoral indices ended higher.
Healthcare, energy, information technology, financial and consumer discretionary shares were among the most prominent gainers. Several shares from industrial, materials and consumer staples sections too ended with strong gains.
The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index ended up 199.58 points, or 1.37%, at 14,804.73, slightly off the day's high of 14,811.13.
On Tuesday, the index ended up 101.02 points, or 0.70%, at 14,605.15
The Bank of Canada, as expected, left its overnight rate target unchanged at 1.75%.
A report from the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corp. this morning showed that Canadian housing starts came in at a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 213,419 units in December, down from 224,349 units in November. Economists had expected a rate of 205,000 units.
The Capped Energy Index climbed up 2%. Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO), Suncor Energy (SU.TO), Cenovus Energy (CVE.TO), Vermilion Energy (VET.TO), Husky Energy (HSE.TO) and PrairieSky Royalty (PSK.TO) gained 1.5 to 3%.
Crescent Point Energy (CPG.TO), BayTex Energy (BTE.TO), NuVista Energy (NVA.TO) and Kelt Exploration (KEL.TO) ended sharply higher on strong volumes.
Among the stocks in the Financial Index, Royal Bank of Canada gained 2.15%, Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) added 1.75%, Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO) both advanced by 1.3% and National Bank of Canada (NA.TO) ended up 2.2%, while Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) ended modestly higher.
Manulife Financial Corporation (MFC.TO) and Sun Life Financial Inc. (SLF.TO) ended higher by 2.2% and 2.8%, respectively.
The Capped Healthcare Index jumped 6.18%. Canopy Growth Corporation (WEED.TO) soared by 13.3%, after the company announced through its Latin American-focused subsidiary, Canopy LATAM Corporation, the entry of Spectrum Cannabis Peru S.A.C., the newest member of the growing global Spectrum Cannabis family.
Aphria Inc. (APHA.TO) gained 6.2% after it announced the completion of its previously announced acquisition of CC Pharma GmbH, a leading distributor of pharmaceutical products to more than 13,000 pharmacies in Germany, as well as throughout Europe. Aphria also announced that it has completed its first shipment of medical cannabis to Shoppers Drug Mart.
Aurora Cannabis Inc. (ACB.TO) jumped 7.35%, Bausch Health Companies (BHC.TO) ended 2.5% up and Cronos Group Inc. (CRON.TO) gained about 4.5%.
The Capped Information Technology Index gained 1.8%. Enghouse Systems (ENGH.TO) surged up nearly 4%, CGI Group (GIB.A.TO), Shopify Inc. (SHOP.TO) and Constellation Software (CSU.TO) gained 1.5 to 3%. Celestica Inc. (CLS.TO) and Sierra Wireless Inc. (SW.TO) also ended notably higher.
Among industrials, Canadian National Railway (CNR.TO), Canadian Pacific Railway (CP.TO) and SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. (SNC.TO) gained 1.2 to 2%, while Bombardier Inc. (BBD.B.TO) ended more than 6.5% up.
In the materials space, Franco-Nevada Corporation (FNV.TO), Teck Resources (TECK.B.TO), Agnico Eagle Mines (AEM.TO), Goldcorp Inc. (G.TO), CCL Industries (CCL.B.TO), First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO) and Kirkland Lake Gold (KL.TO) gained 1 to 4.2%. New Gold Inc. (NGD.TO) ended 12.6% up.
Among consumer discretionary stocks, The Stars Group Inc. (TSGI.TO) gained nearly 6% and Linamar Corporation (LNR.TO) climbed up 5.1%. Canadian Tire Corporation (CTC.A.TO), Magna International (MG.TO), Canada Goose Holdings Inc. (GOOS.TO) and BRP Inc. (DOO.TO) ended higher by 1 to 3%.
Green Organic Dutchman Holdings (TGOD.TO) shares ended sharply higher after the company announced it has appointed Dr. Caroline MacCallum and Jacques Dessureault to its Board of Directors.
EXFO Inc. (EXF.TO) ended 4.2% up. The company a share repurchase program. The company also reported first first quarter 2019 net loss of US$7.5 million, or US$0.14 per share, compared to net earnings of US$2.7 million, or US$0.05 per share, in the first quarter of 2018.
U.S. stocks ended on a positive note, despite paring most of their gains. The Dow and S&P 500 both ended higher by 0.4%, while the Nasdaq added 0.9%.
The markets continued to benefit from optimism about a potential trade deal between the U.S. and China after talks between U.S. and Chinese officials were extended to a third day.
Also, stocks remained mostly positive after the minutes of the latest Federal Reserve meeting confirmed Fed Chairman Jerome Powell's recent remarks suggesting the central bank will take a patient approach to further interest rate increases.
Stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher on Wednesday. The major European markets also moved to the upside.
In commodities, crude oil futures for February ended up $2.58, or 5.2%, at $52.36 a barrel amid easing worries about energy demand and on data showing a drop in U.S. crude stockpiles in the week to January 4.
Gold futures for February ended up $6.10, or 0.5%, at $1,292.00 an ounce.
Silver futures for March settled at $15.735 an ounce, up $0.022 from Tuesday's close, while Copper futures for March ended at $2.657 per pound, little changed from previous close.
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