(RTTNews.com) - The Canadian stock market ended on a positive note on Wednesday, extending gains to a ninth successive session, led by gains in bank shares after major U.S. banks reported solid quarterly earnings.
Healthcare, information technology, materials and consumer discretionary shares were among the other notable gainers. Energy stocks were a bit weak.
The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index ended up 64.98 points, or 0.43%, at 15,111.26, slightly off the day's high of 15,118.31. The index touched a low of 15,057.04 in the session.
Among bank stocks, Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) gained 0.6%, Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) and National Bank of Canada (NA.TO) both ended higher by nearly 1%, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO) advanced by 1.05%. Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) added 1.4% and Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) gained 1.9%.
In the healthcare space, Aurora Cannabis Inc. (ACB.TO) jumped nearly 5%, Knight Therapeutics (GUD.TO) advanced by 3.5%, Cronos Group Inc. (CRON.TO) ended 2.6% up, Extendicare (EXE.TO) and Sienna Senior Living Inc. (SIA.TO) gained nearly 2% and Canopy Growth Corporation (WEED.TO) gained 1.4%.
Cenovus Energy Inc. (CVE.TO), Suncor Energy (SU.TO) and Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) lost 1.4 to 1.9%. Crescent Point Energy (CPG.TO) shed about 0.7%. ARC Resources (ARX.TO) ended 2.3% up.
First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO) climbed up 14.8% after the company reported a notable increase in production and sales for the fourth quarter ended December 2018.
Goldcorp Inc. (G.TO) and Kinross Gold (K.TO) ended notably higher.
Golden Star Resources Ltd. (GSC.TO) ended 2.8% up after the company reported fiscal 2018 consolidated gold production of 224,861 ounces, 139 ounces below the low end of guidance. For the fourth quarter of 2018, gold production was 48,854 ounces.
International Road Dynamics Inc., a Quarterhill Inc. (QTRH.TO) company, announced today the award of a commercial vehicle systems maintenance and support services contract from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles. Quarterhill shares ended flat.
Hydro One Limited (H.TO) and Avista Corporation today the Oregon Public Utility Commission issued an order suspending indefinitely the current procedural schedule in its merger docket until Hydro One and Avista inform the OPUC that they have sought a reversal of the denial decisions through appeal or other means that would provide a justifiable issue for the OPUC to address. Shares of Hydro One Limited edged down marginally.
U.S. stocks moved mostly higher and the major averages reached their best closing levels in a month, with traders reacting positively to upbeat earnings news from Bank of America and Goldman Sachs.
The Dow climbed 0.6% to 24,207.16, the Nasdaq rose 0.2% to 7,034.69 and the S&P 500 edged up 0.2% to 2,616.10.
Buying interest, however, was a bit subdued in the U.S. market due to political uncertainty with the government shutdown entering its 25th day.
The Federal Reserve's Beige Book said outlooks generally remained positive, although many districts reported that contacts had become less optimistic. The drop in optimism reflected increased financial market volatility, rising short-term interest rates, falling energy prices, and elevated trade and political uncertainty.
The Labor Department released a report showing another steep drop in import prices in the month of December, reflecting a continued nosedive in fuel prices.
Asian shares ended mostly higher on Wednesday despite Brexit uncertainty.
European markets ended mostly higher. The U.K. market, however, drifted lower ahead of a vote on the no confidence motion proposed against Theresa May's government. May won the confidence vote that took place after trading hours.
In commodities, crude oil futures for February ended up $0.20, or 0.4%, at $52.31 a barrel.
Gold futures for February ended up $5.40, or 0.4%, at $1,293.80 an ounce, a near two-week closing high.
Silver futures for March settled at $15.638 an ounce, up $0.0.18 from previous close. Meanwhile, copper futures for March ended at $2.673 per pound, up $0.039 from Tuesday's close.
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