TSX Firmly In Positive Territory Despite Paring Some Early Gains

(RTTNews) - The Canadian stock market is up sharply Thursday morning, riding on strong gains in energy and materials shares, thanks to a jump in commodity prices.

Healthcare, financial, real estate and telecommunications shares are seeing some buying as well, while information technology shares are declining sharply.

However, the mood remains cautious due to reports showing a sharp surge in new coronavirus infections almost across the globe.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index, which rose nearly 375 points to 13,248.61 earlier in the session, is now up 260.02 points, or 2.02%, at 13,136.39.

On Wednesday, the S&P/TSX Composite Index closed lower by 502.38 points, or 3.76%, at 12,876.27.

The Capped Energy Index is climbing up nearly 16%, with several top stocks in the section rallying sharply following a big rise in crude oil prices amid hopes Russia and Saudi Arabia might end their price war sometime soon. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures are up $4.78, or about 23.5%, at $25.10 a barrel.

MEG Energy (MEG.TO), the biggest gainer in the Energy Index, is up more than 55%. Crescent Point Energy (CPG.TO) is rising 33%, while Vermilion Energy (VET.TO), Parex Resources (PXT.TO), Enerplus Corp (ERF.TO), Whitecap Resources (WCP.TO) and Seven Generations Energy (VII.TO) are up 21 to 30%.

Cenovus Energy (CVE.TO) is gaining about 26%. said it is temporarily suspending its dividend and cutting its capital spending plan by an additional $150 million on top of a reduction announced last month.

The company says the steps are due to low global oil prices. In early March, the company had announced a $450-million reduction in capital spending. Cenovus now expects to spend between $750 million and $850 million this year.

In the materials space, Methanex Corp (MX.TO) is soaring nearly 17%. Silvercorp Metals (SVM.TO), Pan American Silver Corp (PAAS.TO), Ssr Mining (SSRM.TO), Kirkland Lake Gold (KL.TO), Alacer Gold Corp (ASR.TO), B2Gold Corp (BTO.TO), Teck Resources (TECK.B.TO), Alamos Gold (AGI.TO), Oceanagold (OGC.TO), Hudbay Minerals (HBM.TO) and Eldorado Gold (ELD.TO) are up 6 to 11%.

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.

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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