Toronto stocks finished the session notably higher on Tuesday, led by a strong performance from the mining sector. Heavily-weighted financial and energy stocks also boosted the market higher.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index rallied to 121.02 or 1.32% to end at 9,247.17, paring some of yesterday's sharp decline. Investors mulled over the latest developments from earnings season as well as an unexpected interest rate-cut by the Bank of Canada.
Mining stocks soared 11.4%. Teck Cominco (TCK-B.TO) surged 36.9% after the company said that it has entered into a commitment letter to amend its existing US$4 billion senior term loan facility and US$5.81 billion senior bridge loan facility.
Earlier, Teck Cominco announced its first-quarter net earnings were C$241 million or C$0.50 per share, down from C$345 million or C$0.78 per share, hurt by lower copper prices. The company reported an 11% rise in sales for the first quarter.
Meanwhile, Duluth Metals Limited (DM.TO) rose 6.9% after the company announced the acquisition of 5,142 acres of prospective mineral leases within the Duluth Complex.
Technology stocks gained 2.8%. Blackberry maker Research in Motion (RIM.TO) added 2.5% after Texas Instruments (TXN) said adjusted first-quarter earnings per share and revenue exceeded analysts expectations.
Financials also finished 2.8% higher. Scotiabank (BNS.TO) rallied 5.6%, CIBC (CM.TO) gained 5.2% and Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) added 3.4%.
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner assured the Congressional Oversight Panel Tuesday that there is enough money left in the Troubled Asset Relief Program, the $700 billion financial rescue program, to stabilize the financial system. There is at least $134.4 billion in TARP funds left, Geithner said, while over $590 billion has already been committed.
Energy stocks added 1.9% as crude oil turned higher on the NYMEX. Among the big names, Canadian Oil Sands (COS.UN.TO) gained 2.7%, Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) rallied 2.7% and Suncor (SU.TO) added 1.4%.
Light sweet crude oil for May delivery climbed to $46.64, up 76 cents on the session. Prices earlier hit as low as $43.83, the lowest level for the contract in more than a month.
On the downside, gold stocks ended down 2.6% and materials stocks lost 1.5% as the precious metal gave back early gains on the Comex. Royal Gold (RGL.TO) dropped 5.6%, Agnico-Eagle Mines (AEM.TO) slipped 4.8% and Goldcorp (G.TO) declined 4.5%.
In other corporate news, Canadian National Railway Company (CNR.TO) added 2.9%. The company announced its first-quarter net income rose to C$424 million or C$0.90 per share for the quarter, up from C$311 million or C$0.64 per share in the prior-year period. Quarterly revenues declined to C$1.859 billion, down 4% from C$1.927 billion in the prior-year period, but exceeded Street estimate of C$1.68 billion.
The company announced the promotion of Claude Mongeau to the role of senior president and chief executive officer, effective January 1, 2010, succeeding Hunter Harrison.
The BoC announced Tuesday morning that it is lowering its target for the overnight rate by one-quarter of a percentage point to 0.25 percent. Most economists were predicting that the Bank would stand pat.
The Bank now expects the recovery to be delayed until the fourth quarter and to be more gradual. The economy is projected to grow by 2.5 percent in 2010 and 4.7 percent in 2011, and to reach its production capacity in the third quarter of 2011.
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