Toronto stocks have surged in early trading and Toronto's main index is on target for a three-month closing high. Further strength in the mining sector as well as higher crude oil prices pushed the market higher.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index rallied 117.88 points or 1.31% to 9,087.16. Traders prepared for a three-day weekend as markets will be closed tomorrow on Bay Street and Wall Street for the Good Friday holiday.
Mining stocks are higher again on Thursday, adding to recent gains. Teck Cominco (TCK.B.TO) has surged another 7.5%. The stock added nearly 10% yesterday after the copper and zinc miner announced it sold 5.6 million shares of Kinross (K.TO) for about $101 million, with the intention of paying down down its debt.
Financials are up 3.6% as all of the big six banks are showing gains. Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) has jumped 4%, Toronto-Dominion (TD.TO) has added 3.7% and National Bank (NA.TO) is up 3.4%.
Energy stocks are up 2.2% as crude oil is higher on the NYMEX. Canadian oil Sands (COS.UN.TO) has rallied 4.6%, Suncor (SU.TO) is up 3.2% and Savanna (SVY.TO) has gained 3.2%.
Light sweet crude oil for May delivery has rallied to $51.70 per barrel, up $2.32 for the session.
In corporate news, Cardiome Pharma Corp. (CRME: News ,COM.TO: News ) has rallied more than 19% after the company reached a collaboration and license agreement with Merck & Co. (MRK) to develop and market vernakalant, an investigational candidate for the treatment of atrial fibrillation.
Quebecor World Inc. (IQW.TO) has surged 35% after the company said it reached agreement in principle on the key terms that will allow it to successfully emerge from creditor protection.
Canwest Global Communications Corp. (CGS.TO) is down 4.75% after the company reported second quarter net loss of C$1.44 billion or C$8.09 per share, compared to a net loss of C$33.88 million or C$0.19 per share in the same quarter of last year.
Telus (T.TO) has dropped 10% after the company announced its new wireless subscribers fell by 46% in the recent quarter and the average monthly bill fell 5.6%.
Canadian jobless rate jumped to its highest level in seven years in March, extending a trend of rising unemployment, according to data released Thursday by Statistics Canada.
Employment declined by 61,000 in March, all in full-time work. This decrease pushed the unemployment rate up 0.3 percentage points to 8.0%.
Meanwhile, Stats Canada data showed Canadian exports rose 5.2% to $33.1 billion as all sectors increased and auto makers resumed production. Meanwhile, imports increased 1.1% to $33.0 billion led by machinery and equipment. This resulted in a small trade surplus of $126 million, up from a deficit of $1.2 billion in January.
Canadian new home selling prices decreased 0.7% between January and February, compared with a 0.6% decline a month earlier, according to data released Thursday morning by Statistics Canada. This resulted in a New Housing Price Index of 155.3.
On Wednesday, Toronto's main index snapped a three-session losing skid. The S&P/TSX Composite Index added 65.80 points or 0.74% to finish at 8,890.65.
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