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Stocks off on right foot

Jul 12, 2018 (Baystreet.ca via COMTEX) --

Canada's main stock index opened higher on Thursday, lifted by gains in financial stocks, a day after the Bank of Canada hiked interest rates for the second time this year.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index regained 42.88 points to begin Thursday at 16,460.20

The Canadian dollar regained 0.3 cents at 75.98 cents U.S.

Among financials, Royal Bank gained 53 cents to $101.11, while BMO picked up 53 cents to $103.03.

Tech shares also perked, with BlackBerry gaining 19 cents, or 1.5%, to $13.23.

Barrick Gold lowered its full-year copper production forecast on Wednesday while increasing its cost estimates, saying the change reflected operational challenges and planned work at its Lumwana mine in Zambia.

Barrick shares inched up 12 cents to $17.13.

The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board said it will invest in China's rental housing sector with local property developer Longfor Group, with an initial targeted investment of $817 million.

Credit Suisse raised the target price on Bombardier to $7.00 from $5.68. Bombardier shares eked up half a cent to $5.435.

BMO started coverage on WSP Global with a market perform rating, and a $70 target price. WSP shares dipped 44 cents to $68.65.

On the economic docket, Statistics Canada said Canadian new house prices remained unchanged on a national basis in May, for a third consecutive month.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange lost 0.46 points to 727.73.

All but two of the 12 TSX subgroups were in the green in the first hour, as information technology surged 1.3%, while health-care popped 0.9% and gold shone 0.8% brighter.

The two laggards were utilities, down 0.5%, and real-estate, off 0.02%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks traded higher on Thursday as trade fears declined amid a lack of retaliatory tariffs by China to the latest round of charges by the U.S.

The Dow Jones Industrials restored 146.97 points to 24,847.42, with Walgreens Boots Alliance and Intel as the best-performing stocks in the index.

The S&P 500 regained 13.47 points to 2,787.49, with tech and health care outperforming.

The NASDAQ rocketed 58.33 points to 7,775.22

Investors also shifted their focus toward earnings and data, taking a breather from trade war concerns. On the earnings front, Delta Air Lines reported better-than-expected quarterly results. Wall Street expects strong numbers from Corporate America, with experts forecasting 20% earnings growth for the second quarter.

Equities also rallied on dealmaking activity as Broadcom agreed to buy CA Technologies for $18.9 billion in cash. The deal values CA stock at about $44.50 per share, about 20% above the stocks close on Wednesday. CA shares surged nearly 20%, while Broadcom's stock dropped more than 12%.

Comcast, meanwhile, increased its bid for British television group Sky to $34 billion, topping a $32.5-billion offer made by Twenty-First Century Fox.

Economically speaking, U.S. weekly jobless claims fell to 214,000 last week and the consumer price index rose at its fastest pace in six years.

Overseas, the Chinese commerce ministry said Thursday that China has not been in touch with the U.S. about restarting trade talks, but noted that China does not want a trade war. A spokesman for the ministry said, however, China does not fear a trade war.

Prices for the benchmark for the 10-year U.S. Treasury eased backward, raising yields to 2.85% from Wednesday 2.84%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices picked up 26 cents to $70.64 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices hiked $1.80 to $1,246.20 U.S. an ounce.

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