TSX at 5-Mo. High

Fortuna, Stella-Jones in Focus

Canada's main stock index rose to its highest level in five months on Friday, led by the material sector, as investor sentiment was lifted by reports that Beijing and Washington had made more progress in their trade talks.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index gained 57.69 points to greet noon Friday at 16,145.24

The Canadian dollar subtracted 0.11 cents at 74.94 cents U.S.

Boosting the sector were Fortuna Silver Mines and MAG Silver, which rose the most on TSX as silver prices edged up on the day.

Fortuna improved its fortunes 19 cents, or 3.9%, to $5.02, while MAG gained 37 cents, or 2.6%, to $14.40.

Stella Jones fell 22 cents to $41.13, after company missed its Q4 earnings estimates.

Another big decliner was Precision Drillng Corp, down a dime of 3.2%, to $3.07, after Jefferies downgraded the stock.

On the economic front, Statistics Canada said manufacturing sales increased 1.0% to $57.1 billion in January, following three consecutive monthly decreases.

Higher sales in the food as well as the electrical equipment, appliance and component industries were the main contributors to the gains in January.

Elsewhere, statistics released today by the Canadian Real Estate Association show national home sales plummeted 9.1% month-over-month in February. Actual (not seasonally-adjusted) activity was down 4.4% year-over-year.


The TSX Venture Exchange retained 2.65 points to pause for lunch at 625.72

All but one of the 12 TSX subgroups gained Friday morning, with health-care climbing 0.9%, financials up 0.7%, and gold stronger by 0.6%.

Only energy was negative, trailing yesterday 0.6%.


Stocks rose on Friday as investors cheered renewed optimism on the U.S.-China trade front. Wall Street also headed for strong gains for the week.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ballooned 149.64 points 25,859.58, as Boeing shares turned around to trade 1.5% higher.

The S&P 500 recouped 14.61 points to 2,823.09, on gains in the tech and materials sectors

The NASDAQ Composite gained 63.95 points to 7,694.86, on tech strength

Equities headed for strong weekly gains on Friday as the S&P 500 and NASDAQ Composite were up more than 2% each through Thursday's close. The Dow was up 1%, lagging its large-cap counterparts as steep losses in Boeing weighed on the 30-stock index.

This week's gains were largely led by tech shares, as the sector surged 4%. The tech sector also became the best-performer of 2019. Nvidia is the best-performing stock in the sector, rising more than 12% while fellow semiconductor stocks like Broadcom and Lam Research also rose sharply this week.

AT&T shares rose 1% after Raymond James upgraded the telecommunications giant to outperform from market perform, citing an attractive valuation relative to rival Verizon.

Semiconductor shares rose broadly on Friday, as Broadcom shares led the gains, rising more than 9% after the company reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings.

Chinese Vice Premier Liu He spoke via telephone with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Xinhua news agency reported Friday.

The news comes after reports Thursday that Chinese negotiators suggest combining a state visit to the U.S. with the signing of a trade deal. Beijing wants a deal to be fully ironed out before President Xi Jinping meets with U.S. President Donald Trump.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury rose sharply, weighing yields to 2.6% from Thursday’s 2.63%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices down 21 cents to $58.40 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices gained $7.30 to $1,302.40 U.S. an ounce.