Canada's main stock index turned slightly positive on Monday after U.S. President Donald Trump appeared to suggest that Canada and Mexico could win exemptions to his planned sweeping tariffs on aluminum and steel imports if the two countries sign a new North American Free Trade Agreement deal.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index moved higher 136.11 points by noon hour at 15,520.70
The Canadian dollar lost 0.52 cents to 77.07 cents U.S.
The biggest gainer on the index was Crew Energy, rising 7.1%, after reporting increases in its fourth quarter adjusted funds flow and production.
Prometic Life Sciences, up 6.5%, was the second-biggest gainer after winning rare pediatric disease and orphan drug designations from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for its Inter-Alpha-Inhibitor-Proteins for the treatment of Necrotizing Enterocolitis.
Baytex Energy, zooming 3.7%, and Advantage Oil & Gas, chugging ahead 3.1% were also among the 10 biggest gainers,
Home Capital Group was the biggest decliner with a 3.7% loss, followed by WestJet Airlines, which slipped 2.8%
Bombardier -- which gained three cents to $3.99 -- and Canopy Growth – perking $2.10, or 7.2%, to $31.09 -- were the most active stocks by volume on the index.
The TSX Venture Exchange gained 13.47 points to 832.47
All 12 TSX subgroups were higher, with health-care triumphing 4.3%, while energy took on 2%, and materials gained 1.2%.
Stocks erased earlier losses on Monday as investors mulled over potential U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs.
The Dow Jones Industrials did a reverse and climbed 187.69 points noon hour to 24,725.75, Caterpillar was the biggest contributor of gains to the Dow, rising 2.2%
The S&P 500 regained 22.3 points to 2,713.55, with utilities and real estate as the best-performing sectors.
The NASDAQ Composite gained 59.38 points to 7,317.24.
In corporate news, French insurer AXA is buying XL Group for $15.3 billion U.S., or $57.60 a share, in a deal that would create a property and casualty insurance giant. XL shares rose more than 30% on the back of the news.
In economic news, the U.S. services Purchasing Managers Index showed business activity expansion accelerated to a six-month high in February.
President Donald Trump announced last week the U.S. will implement a 25% tariff on steel imports and a 10% tariff on aluminum imports.
The news sparked fears of a potential global trade war as world leaders condemned the announcement. In response to the U.S. tariffs, the European Union proposed tariffs on Harley-Davidson bikes and other U.S. products.
Prices for the benchmark 10-year Treasury note gained ground, lowering yields to 2.88% from Friday’s 2.87%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.
Oil prices took on $1.39 a barrel to $62.64 U.S.
Gold prices slumped $2.20 at $1,321.20 U.S. an ounce.