Markets

Update: TSX Gains a Modest 16 Points in Broad-Based Advance Led by Financials

Canada's main stock market tracked higher on Friday, paced by healthcare, tech and financial shares, but lost ground late in the session. The S&P/TSX Composite Index finished 16 points or 0.1% higher to close at 15,634. For the week, the TSX was up around 1.1% while for the quarter, the TSX gained about 3%. A flat July GDP provided further backing for the reduced rate hike profile implied by BoC Governor Poloz earlier this week.

Healthcare led advancers as Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX.TO) rose 4% after completing the sale of the iNova Pharmaceuticals business for US$930 million in cash. Tech stocks and financials were also stronger, with the financial sector paced by the big banks. Energy was weaker as oil prices were little changed. Materials were the day's main decliner as gold, silver and copper all lost ground. Gold prices were down roughly 1% for the week and lost 2.7% for the month, according to FactSet data. For the quarter, however, prices were up around 3.6%.

In other stock news, heavily traded BlackBerry (BB.TO) gained another 7% Friday after posting better-than-expected earnings on Thursday. DHX Media (DHX-B.TO) shares bounced back 3.5% today after losing 16% Thursday on disappointing financial results. Royal Bank (RY.TO), one of the day's most influential stocks, gained nearly 0.6%.

In economic news, GDP was flat in July after a 0.3% gain in June. The lack of change undershot expectations (median +0.1%), although the flat reading for July was not a shock as the risk was tilted to the downside. GDP had expanded in the previous eight months, leaving a robust growth pace in the first half of this year. This report is consistent with the widely expected moderation in growth during the second half of this year. Meanwhile, Canada's industrial product price index grew 0.3% in August after the 1.6% drop in July. A 2.8% run-up in the prices of energy and petroleum products drove the increase in the total IPPI during August, which was expected. The appreciation in the loonie provided a minor drag on the IPPI, with the index excluding the impact of the exchange rate rising 0.4% m/m. The RMPI grew 1.0% in August after the 0.9% drop in July. The increase was driven by a 3.1% gain in crude oil. Excluding energy, the RMPI slipped 0.1% m/m in August.

The Canadian dollar lost about a quarter of a cent Friday to 80.16 US.

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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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