RTTNews - Toronto stocks finished higher for the first session in three on Wednesday, following the lead of U.S. and European stocks. Strength in the telecom and energy sectors led the way.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index rose 30.4 points or 0.28% to close at 10,659.87. The market had finished at its lowest level of August on Tuesday.

The Federal Open Market Committee announced Wednesday that it will leave the target range for its benchmark federal funds rate at zero to 0.25 percent. The Fed also repeated its belief that low rates will persist for what it calls an extended period. The central bank said that economic activity is leveling out.

Telecommunications stocks rose 1.1% to lead the way. Bell Canada (BCE.TO), Rogers Communications (RCE.TO) and Telus (T.TO) all gained 1.3%.

Energy stocks rose 1% as crude oil finished a choppy session above $70. Baytex (BTE.UN.TO) gained 6.1%, Suncor (SU.TO) rose 2.7% and Vermilion Energy (VET.UN.TO) gained 1.8%.

In corporate news, CAE Inc. (CAE.TO) gained 7.5% after the company reported first quarter net earnings of C$27.2 million or C$0.11 per share, compared to C$47.3 million or C$0.19 per share in the prior year quarter.

Pan American Silver (PAA.TO) lost 3% after the company reported net income for the second quarter of US$10.2 million or US$0.12 per basic share, compared to US$21.36 million or US$0.26 per share in the year-ago quarter.

Finning International (FTT.TO) plunged 11.1% after the company posted second quarter net income of C$48 million or C$0.28 per share, compared to C$67 million or C$0.39 per share in the previous year quarter.

Manulife Financial Corp. (MFC.TO) rose 1% after the announcement the company will acquire the retail investment business of AIC Ltd. from billionaire founder Michael Lee- Chin, according to reports. Terms were not disclosed.

Novadaq Technologies (NDQ.TO) dropped 3.7% despite reporting its net loss for the quarter narrowed to US$3.36 million or US$0.14 per share from US$4.37 million or US$0.18 per share in the previous year.

Ag Growth International (AFN.TO) rose 5.9% after the company reported second-quarter net earnings of C$16.43 million or C$1.28 per share, compared to C$7.46 million or C$0.58 per share in the same quarter of last year. Sales for the quarter were C$66.84 million, compared to C$55.95 million in the prior year quarter.

Brookfield Properties (BPO.TO) gained 2.75% after the company said it has entered into agreements for the sale of 95 million of its common shares at a price of US$9.50 per share.

Cardiome Pharma (COM.TO) lost 8% after the company had its target price reduced to $9 from $11.50 at RBC Capital Markets. The stock maintained its Sector Rating.

Dorel Industries (DII.A.TO) posted a 5.4% gain after reporting quarterly results. Excluding items, the company's second-quarter income increased to US$53.12 million from US$29.12 million last year.

BlackPearl (PXX.TO) net loss for the second quarter was C$10.89 million or C$0.05 per share, compared to net income of C$6.69 million or C$0.04 per share in the previous year. However, the stock finished up 1.9%.

In other economic news, data released Wednesday morning showed Canadian international merchandise trade deficit was C$100 million, compared to a revised deficit of C$1.1 billion for May. A deficit of C$500 million was forecast by analysts.

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