(RTTNews) - The Canadian stock market ended on a firm note on Thursday, led by gains in energy shares amid hopes the price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia would end soon, and OPEC members and allies will agree on a production cut to support oil prices.
The mood, however, remained somewhat cautious due to rising concerns about coronavirus pandemic after reports showed a sharp surge in new infections across the globe.
The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index ended up 221.47 points, or 1.72%, at 13,097.84, after having rallied to 13,248.61 early on in the session.
On Wednesday, the index ended down 502.38 points, or 3.76%, at 12,876.27.
A strong uptick in gold prices pushed up materials stocks. There were sharp gains for several shares from industrial, utilities, telecom and financial sections.
Real estate and consumer staples shares too saw some buying, while information technology and consumer discretionary stocks tumbled. Healthcare shares turned in a mixed performance.
MEG Energy (MEG.TO) spurted nearly 34%. Cenovus Energy (CVE.TO), Whitecap Resources (WCP.TO), Baytex Energy (BTE.TO) and Crescent Point Energy (CPG.TO) climbed up 21 to 23%.
Seven Generations Energy (VII.TO), Vermilion Energy (VET.TO), Husky Energy (HSE.TO) and Suncor Energy (SU.TO) gained 7 to 16%.
In the materials section, Kinross Gold Corp (K.TO) ended nearly 10% up, Methanex Corp (MX.TO), Oceanagold Corp (OGC.TO) and Hudbay Minerals (HBM.TO) gained 8 to 9%.
Kirkland Lake Gold (KL.TO), B2Gold (BTO.TO), Novagold (NG.TO), Ssr Mining (SSRM.TO), Agnico Eagle Mines (AEM.TO), Franco-Nevada Corp (FNV.TO), Yamana Gold (YRI.TO), Barrick Gold Corporation (BTO.TO) and Eldorado Gold (ELD.TO) gained 4 to 8%.
In the financial section, Fairfax Finacial Holdings (FFH.TO), Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO), Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO) gained 1 to 2%.
Industrial shares Ballard Power Systems (BLDP.TO), Mullen Group (MTL.TO), Snc-Lavalin (SNC.TO), Badger Daylighting (BAD.TO) and Stantec (STN.TO) gained 6 to 7%.
Among the prominent losers in the session, Restaurant Brands International (QSR.TO), Shopify Inc. (SHOP.TO) and Lightspeed Pos (LSPD.TO) declined 9.5 to 10.5%. Kinaxis Inc. (KXS.TO) and Stars Group (TSGI.TO) both ended lower by about 5.4%.
In economic news, Canada recorded a trade deficit of C$0.98 billion in February of 2020, data released by Statistics Canada showed. Exports increased to C$48.34 billion in February from 48.09 billion in January of 2020, while imports dropped to C$49.32 billion in February, from C$49.74 billion a month earlier.
After fluctuating during the course of the session, U.S. stocks ended notably higher today. The Dow surged up 2.2%, the Nasdaq jumped 1.7% and the S&P 500 spiked 2.3%.
Stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region ended mixed, while European markets closed mostly higher.
In commodities, West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for May ended up $5.01, or nearly 25%, at $25.32 a barrel.
Gold futures for June ended up $46.30, or about 2.9%, at $1,637.70 an ounce, slightly off the day's high of $1,641.00.
Silver futures for May ended up $0.670 at $14.654 an ounce, while Copper futures for May settled higher by $0.0440 at $2.2185 per pound.
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