Canada Stocks Closes Up More Than 50 Points Just Shy of Day Highs

Canada's main stock market, the Toronto Stock Exchange, closed up more than 50 points and just shy of day highs, buoyed by mining issues, perhaps on higher oil prices. News that the U.S. Federal Reserve is maintaining its bond-buying stimulus plan for now also offered support.

Most actively traded with nearly 23 million shares changing hands - about 10 million more than the next most active stock - was Aurizon Mines Ltd (ARZ.TO), after Alamos Gold Inc (AGI.TO) dropped its offer to buy it, putting an end to a bidding war with Hecla Mining Co ( HL ). ARZ closed down 3 cents at $4.45 having touched a day high $4.58 early afternoon and a day low $4.40 mid-morning.

BlackBerry (BB.TO) was second busiest, closing up more than 7% at $16.53 but off a day high $16.84 with more than 13 million shares traded after Morgan Stanley raised its rating to Overweight from Underweight and boosted his target price to $22 from $10, saying the introduction of the new BB10 smartphone lineup will boost profit margins. Helping sentiment for it, there is an article on Seeking Alpha entitled "Now Is The Time To Buy BlackBerry."

However, media reports in Canada suggest the U.K. government has withheld advanced security clearance for its new smartphone operating system.

MarketWatch reported: "Oil futures finished higher Wednesday on the back of a surprise drop in last week's U.S. crude supplies and after the Federal Reserve said it sees "moderate" economic growth." It said: "April crude tacked on 80 cents, or 0.9%, to settle at $92.96 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. May crude, which became the front-month contract at the close, settled at $93.50, up 98 cents, or 1.1%."

MarketWatch also reported: "Gold futures closed lower Wednesday, logging the first loss in five trading sessions ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve's decision on monetary policy and forecast on the economy." It said: "April gold lost $3.80, or 0.2%, to settle at $1,607.50 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange."

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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