Toronto stocks have turned to the upside on Wednesday, led by strength in the mining sector. Bay Street markets followed the direction of Wall Street traders as investors brushed off weaker-than-expected U.S. gross domestic product data.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index has risen 64.56 points or 0.69% to move at 9,412.59. If the gains hold, it would be the first positive close of the week for Toronto's main index.
Mining stocks are up 4.1% to lead the way as copper has climbed 7.1 cents to $1.9875 per pound. First Quantum (FM.TO) has gained 6%, Thompson Creek Metals (TCM.TO) has added 5.1%, FNX Mining (FNX.TO) has climbed 3.5%, Teck Cominco (TCK.B.TO) is up 3.2% and HudBay Minerals (HBM.TO) has added 2.2%.
Energy stocks have added 1.5% as crude oil climbed above $50 on the NYMEX. Encana (ECA.TO) has added 1.5% and Suncor (SU.TO) is up 1%.
Talisman Energy (TLM.TO) has gained 3.5%. The company reported first quarter net income of C$455 million or C$0.45 per share, compared to C$466 million or C$0.45 per share in the same period last year.
In other corporate news, Canada Bread (CBY.TO) has surged 7.5% after the company reported first quarter net earnings of C$14.88 million or C$0.59 per share, compared to C$12.21 million or C$0.48 per share in the same quarter of last year.
Norbord (NBD.TO) has gained 7.1%. The wood product maker announced first quarter net loss of US$22 million or US$0.05 per share, compared to a loss of US$31 million or US$0.21 per share last year. Net sales for the quarter fell US$156 million from US$234 million in the prior year quarter.
Ballard Power Systems (BLD.TO) has slipped 4.25% after the company reported net loss for the first quarter of US$18.6 million, or US$0.22 per share, compared to a net income of US$81.0 million or US$0.87 per share in the same period last year.
Rogers Communications (RCI.B.TO) is flat after the company reported first quarter earnings of C$0.49 per share versus C$0.54 per share in the prior year.
Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) is flat after the company reported adjusted net income was US$298 million or US$0.34 per share, compared to US$537 million or US$0.62 per share in the comparable quarter last year. Analysts expected the company to earn US$0.36 per share for the quarter.
Across the border, the Commerce Department report showed that GDP decreased at an annual rate of 6.1 percent in the first quarter compared to a 6.3 percent drop in the fourth quarter. Economists had been expecting a more modest decline of about 4.7 percent.
Trading are looking ahead to the Federal Open Market Committee's announcement of the outcome of its two-day policy setting meeting this afternoon. While the Fed is widely expected to leave interest rates unchanged, traders are likely to pay close attention to the accompanying statement, looking for indications of the Fed's future plans regarding the capital markets as well as its outlook for the economy.
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