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Indexes Flat to Begin Thursday

Feb 08, 2018 (Baystreet.ca via COMTEX) --

Canada's main stock index was little changed after the opening bell on Thursday as declines in the financial sector were offset by firmer energy shares, as well as gains in BCE Inc. after the company reported quarterly results.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index forged out gains of 20.09 points to kick off Thursday's session at 15,350.67

The Canadian dollar dawdled 0.05 cents at 79.51 cents U.S.

BCE Inc reported a 12.5% fall in quarterly profit on Thursday, hurt by higher expenses and asset impairment charges of $82 million.

BCE shares took on $1.08, or 1.9%, to $57.79.

Telus Corp. reported higher fourth-quarter earnings compared with a year earlier, helped by lower spending. Telus shares gained 12 cents to $45.41.

Thomson Reuters Corp beat earnings expectations in the fourth quarter, even as revenue slightly missed Wall Street's forecasts. Thomson shares faded 88 cents, or 1.7%, to $50.18.

Berenberg raised the price target on First Quantum Minerals to $19.00 from $14.25. First Quantum shares gained a penny to $17.65.

Berenberg raised the price target on Lundin Mining to $9.00 from $7.50. Lundin shares were unchanged at $8.14.

Berenberg raised the price target on Teck Resources to $44.00 from $35.00. Teck shares elevated themselves 12 cents to $34.78.

On the economic docket, Statistics Canada reported that prices for new houses were unchanged in December, while showing limited growth in some markets.

The trend in housing starts was 224,865 units in January 2018, compared to 226,346 units in December 2017, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange gained 3.13 points to start the session at 833.82

Eight of the 12 TSX subgroups got off on the right foot Thursday, as energy rumbled ahead 1.5%, while information technology and telecoms each fired 0.8% stronger.

The four subgroups falling off were weighed most by consumer discretionaries and financials, each slipping 0.3%, while materials slid 0.04%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks traded lower on Thursday as strong earnings and economic data were not enough to quell jitters from higher interest rates on Wall Street.

The Dow Jones Industrial plummeted 192.38 points to 24,700.97

The S&P 500 slipped 12.42 points to 2,669.24, with industrials as the worst-performing sector.

The NASDAQ lost 23.53 points to 7,028.45

The major indexes tried for gains earlier in Thursday's session after the release of strong earnings data.

Twitter and CVS Health reported better-than-expected quarterly results. Twitter shares soared 30%, while CVS rose 0.4%.

This corporate earnings season has been strong. Of the S&P 500 companies that had reported as of Wednesday morning, 78% had announced better-than-expected earnings, according to Thomson Reuters.

Aside from earnings and data, politics, and central banking news are set to be on investors' minds. On Wednesday, U.S. congressional leaders arrived at a two-year budget deal, in order to raise spending on military and domestic areas by close to $300 billion.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year Treasury note dwindled, raising yields to 2.88% from Wednesday's 2.84%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices demurred 33 cents a barrel to $61.46 U.S.

Gold prices picked up $1.20 to $1,318.10 U.S. an ounce.

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