TSX Up Slightly at Thursday Open

Premium, Grenville in Focus

Equities in Canada’s largest market had the stage all to themselves Thursday, and move marginally higher as higher oil prices boosted energy shares, while heavyweight financial stocks also gained ground.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index recovered 21.67 points to open for business on Thursday at 16,095.25

The Canadian dollar subtracted 0.08 cents to 78.62 cents U.S.

SouthGobi Resources said on Thursday it sacked its chief executive officer, who is a suspect in a fraudulent loan case, with immediate effect, because of his inability to fulfill his daily duties.

SouthGobi shares were at 20 cents Thursday morning.

FortisBC said British Columbia has sent its first shipment of liquefied natural gas to China, part of a pilot project to test the feasibility of small-scale LNG exports by container ship from the Pacific Coast province to global markets.

FortisBC’s parent company, Fortis Inc., started the session up nine cents to $48.03.

TD Securities raised the price target on Premium Brands Holdings Corp. to $125.00 from $120.00. Premium shares galloped $2.86, or 2.7%, to $107.58.

Raymond James cut the price target on Grenville Strategic Royalty Corp. to $0.12 from $0.25. Grenville shares were unchanged at 8.5 cents.

On the economic beat, Statistics Canada reported that those drawing employment insurance in September decreased by 11,600, or 2.2%, in September to 509,900. This decline follows a 2.4% decrease in August and continues the downward trend that began in October 2016.

Elsewhere, retail sales edged up 0.1% to $49.1 billion in September. Higher sales at gasoline stations, particularly due to higher prices, were the main contributor to the gain. Excluding sales in this sub-sector, retail sales declined 0.2%.

Economists said sales were to have rebounded to 0.9% from a 0.3% fall in the previous month.

The Trudeau government said Canada will create up to 100,000 affordable housing units as part of a national housing strategy, but critics said the long-awaited plan did nothing to free up more land to help stem a growing affordability crisis.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange dipped 2.18 points to 789.31

Eight of the 12 TSX subgroups made headway in the day’s first hour of trade, with materials and energy adding 0.4%, while industrials eked up 0.2%.

Among the three laggards, consumer discretionary issues lost 0.3%, while consumer staples and real-estate each down 0.2%. Health-care concerns were unchanged soon after the opening bell.

Gold prices lopped off $1.04 to $1,291.10 U.S. an ounce.

ON WALLSTREET

Markets south of the border are closed for Thanksgiving. They will reopen Friday for an abbreviated session.