Update: TSX Posts Modest Gains in Ninth Straight Winning Session
Canada's main stock market was stuck in neutral Wednesday, contrasting with modest gains across Wall Street. The S&P/TSX Composite Index was up 10 points or 0.1% to close at 16,108, marking its ninth consecutive positive finish. The TSX gained 12 points on Tuesday. The Nasdaq was the outperformer in the U.S. rising 0.6% while the Dow Jones added 0.25%.
Sector wise, materials, industrials and energy were the main advancers on the TSX while financials were modestly positive. Utilities and healthcare weighed on the index.
In stock news, Kinder Morgan Canada (KML.TO) was up 2% after the federal government reiterated its support for the Trans Mountain Project but Kinder Morgan's U.S. head says the company will not negotiate its May 31 deadline in public. Home Capital Group (HCG.TO) was off 1% after telling shareholders at its AGM that the company is ready to grow again. Heavily traded Aurora Cannabis (ACB.TO) was down 4% while Baytex Energy (BTE.TO) slid 1.5%.
In economic news, manufacturing shipment values grew 1.4% in March after a revised 2.7% gain in February (was +1.9%). The increase in March was ahead of most expectations. Sales improved in 13 of 21 industries during March. Firmer sales at primary metal (4.2%) aerospace products and parts (10.6%), fabricated metal (4.6%) and other transportations equipment industries (37.4%) drove the increase in total shipment values. Total sales volumes were up 0.6% in March. This is an encouraging report, suggestive of further growth in the economy during March after the rebound in February from the temporary factor induced contraction in January GDP. BoC Deputy Governor Schembri's prepared remarks were consistent with the scenario of gradual rate hikes -- his speech today kept the odds tilted toward no change for this month.
The Canadian dollar gained half a cent to 78.18 US.
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