Stocks Climb in First Hour

Lundin, T-D in Focus

Equities in Canada’s biggest market rose early on Thursday, boosted by gains among energy stocks as oil prices rose, while Lundin Mining sank on a lowered outlook and Toronto-Dominion Bank fell after its earnings missed expectations.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index took on 43.25 to open Thursday’s session at 16,010.97

The Canadian dollar nosed up 0.04 cents to 77.77 cents U.S.

Lundin dropped $1.56, or 17.4%, to $7.40, as Canaccord Genuity cut the rating on the stock to hold from buy

T-D shares let go of $1.95, or 2.6%, to $73.10.

The federal government on Wednesday backed Kinder Morgan Canada's second appeal to the country's energy regulator over local permits for its planned Trans Mountain oil pipeline expansion, as related public hearings began. Kinder shares gained 17 cents, or 1%, to $17.11

Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan’s CEO said Chinese groups have shown "broad interest" in buying his company’s stake in Chilean lithium producer SQM. Potash shares were static at $25.08.

National Bank raised the target price on Boralex to $26.00 from $24.00. Boralex shares progressed 21 cents to $23.27.

Initial comments from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries members suggested an extension of current crude output curbs until the end of 2018.

On the economic front, Statistics Canada reported Thursday that average weekly earnings of non-farm workers in Canada were $986 in September, up 1.0% from the previous month. Compared with 12 months earlier, earnings increased 3.1%

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange gained 2.35 points to 782.19

Seven of the 12 TSX subgroups moved higher in the first hour, as health-care soared 1.6%, energy was up 1.5%, and consumer staples inched up 0.3%.

Among the five laggards, consumer discretionary, financial and materials stocks each lost 0.4%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks opened higher on Thursday as the Senate got closer to voting on a bill aimed at overhauling the U.S. tax code.

The Dow Jones Industrials screamed higher 142.21 points to 24,082.89, with Goldman Sachs leading advancers on the 30-stock index.

The S&P 500 gained 12.76 points to 2,638.91, with financials among the best-performing sectors.

The NASDAQ Composite recovered 32.94 points to 6,857.33

In corporate news, Gap shares fell more than 2% after analysts at Citi downgraded the retailer to sell from neutral, citing valuation concerns following the stock's 40% jump in the past three months.

The Senate is expected to vote later on Thursday. If the upper chamber's bill passes, the House and Senate would have to work on a new bill they can send to President Donald Trump.

Tax reform was one of Trump's main talking points during his campaign last year. After he won, expectations of lower corporate taxes grew in the stock market, helping equities jump to record highs.

Wall Street also looked to Vienna as OPEC members and other oil-producing countries met to discuss whether to extend production cuts currently in place. Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih told the media that OPEC's consensus was "almost complete," adding he doesn't expect an exit from the production cuts soon.

OPEC and other countries had previously agreed to cut production by approximately 1.8 million barrels per day until March.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year Treasury note faded slightly, raising yields to 2.39% from Wednesday’s 2.38%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices regained 31 cents a barrel to $57.61 U.S.

Gold prices dipped $2.80 to $1,283.40 U.S. an ounce.