Bay Street stocks backed off their highs of the day in the final hour Wednesday but still closed higher for the first time in three sessions. Investors mulled over the U.S. Federal Reserve's decision to leave interest rates unchanged, as was widely-expected.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index gained 68.28 points or 0.73% to end at 9,416.31. Resource stocks led the way as commodities saw some strength in NYMEX trading.
Mining stocks gained 5.5% as copper added 9.4 cents to end at $2.01 per pound. Teck Cominco (TCK.B.TO) rallied 7.4%, First Quantum (FM.TO) surged 5.9%, Thompson Creek Metals (TCM.TO) added 4.8%, FNX Mining (FNX.TO) climbed 2.6% and HudBay Minerals (HBM.TO) added 2.3%.
Energy stocks added 1.75% as crude oil ended at $50.97 per barrel, up $1.05 on the day. Canadian Oil Sands (COS.UN.TO) jumped 5%, Baytex Energy Trust (BTE.UN.TO) climbed 2.3% and Encana (ECA.TO) rose 1.9%.
Talisman Energy (TLM.TO) rallied 7%. 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.
Light sweet crude oil for June delivery moved to $50.97, up $1.05 on the session as Energy Information Administration data showed an unexpected decline in gasoline inventories. Prices reached as high as $51.42 earlier in the session.
In other corporate news, Canada Bread (CBY.TO) jumped 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) gained 4.1%. 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) fell 3% 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) fell 1.2% 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) was up slightly 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.
Canam Group (CAM.TO) gained 8.2% after it reported a first quarter net earnings of C$5.4 million or C$0.12 per share, compared to C$7.6 million or C$0.15 per share in the prior year 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.
In the afternoon, the Federal Reserve announced it voted unanimously to keep the target range between 0 and 0.25 percent, in an announcement that was largely unchanged from the March decision. The Federal Open Market Committee noted that the economy has continued to contract, though the pace of contraction appears to be somewhat slower.
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