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Index Climbs on Mining Strength

Alamos, First Quantum in Focus

Canada's main stock index rose on Wednesday, boosted by gains in precious metals miners, while Alamos Gold was among the best performers after it announced a deal to buy smaller rival Argonaut.

The TSX Composite gained 88.66 points to move into Wednesday afternoon at 22,001.18.

The Canadian dollar edged 0.02 cents lower to 73.61 cents U.S.

Alamos Gold said it would acquire Argonaut Gold for $325 million in an all-stock deal. Shares of Alamos jumped $1.03, or 5.6%, to $19.48, and were on track to notch their strongest day in more than 18 months.

First Quantum Minerals gained 68 cents, or 5.1%, to $14.00, after Reuters reported that executives from the miner met with Chinese government officials last week to discuss funding and business options involving top investor Jiangxi Copper.


The TSX Venture Exchange added 6.24 points, or 1.1%, to 554.71.

All but one of the 12 TSX subgroups were higher, gold better by 2.5%, materials, ahead 1.7%, and health-care climbing 1.6%.

Only information technology missed out, losing 0.4%.


The S&P 500 rose Wednesday following a losing session on Wall Street that pulled the indexes further from record levels.

The Dow Jones Industrials recovered in a big way, gaining 190.25 points by noon to 39,472.58.

The S&P 500 index grabbed 12.06 points to 5,215.64.

The NASDAQ slid 9.53 points to 16,306.17.

Today’s best-performing stocks in the S&P 500 include Cintas, up 9% on the back of better-than-expected earnings. Shares of Merck were up nearly 4%, hitting a new all-time high, after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Winrevair, the company’s life-threatening lung condition treatment, for use among patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension.

As of Tuesday’s close, the S&P 500 has added 2.1% in the month and 9.1% in the quarter. The NASDAQ has climbed 1.4% in March and 8.7% over the three-month period, while the Dow has added 0.7% and 4.2% in the respective periods.

Later in the week, investors will watch for data on jobless claims, gross domestic product and consumer sentiment on Thursday. While the market is closed on Good Friday, attention will be on releases tied to personal income, consumer spending and the personal consumption expenditures expected in the morning.

Prices for the 10-year Treasury nicked up, lowering yields to 4.20% from Tuesday’s 4.23%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices dipped 14 cents to $81.48 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices picked up $12.60 to $2,211.80 U.S. an ounce.