Canadian Stocks Creep Higher in Light Trading

AltaGas, National in Focus

Canada's main stock index was virtually flat at the open on Monday as a decline in commodity-linked stocks offset investor relief after Washington struck a debt ceiling deal over the weekend.

The TSX gained 33.47 points to open Monday at 19,953.78.

The Canadian dollar eked higher 0.04 cents to 73.51 cents U.S.

Among company news, Onex Corp's WestJet Airlines pilots will get a 24% hourly raise over four years, plus other pay and benefits as part of a tentative agreement reached between the airline and a pilots' union. Onex shares gained 44 cents to $62.64.

Mountain Valley natural gas pipeline, co-owned by AltaGas Ltd and other U.S. firms could win federal approval in the United States as part of the debt limit deal. AltaGas took on 68 cents, or 3%, to $23.51.

Investors also await second-quarter results due on Wednesday from the National Bank of Canada. National advanced 20 cents to $100.30.

Oil prices folded 23 cents to $72.44 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices gained $2.40 to $1,965.50 U.S. an ounce.


The TSX Venture Exchange gained 3.01 points to 607.10.

Eight of the 12 TSX subgroups moved forward mid-morning Monday, with health-care surging 0.7%, real-estate up 0.5%m and industrials ahead 0.3%.

The four laggards were weighed by consumer discretionary and consumer staples, each lower by 0.4%, and communications, off 0.2%.


U.S. markets are shuttered for Memorial Day