TSX Stays Positive

Pembina, RBC in Focus

Canada's main stock index kept their gains midday Friday, helped by gains for energy companies as oil prices rose.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index was positive 62.4 points to reach noon hour at 15,570.57

The Canadian dollar gained 0.36 cents to 79.01 cents U.S.

The energy group gained, with Pembina Pipeline Corp climbing 5.2% to $43.10 after reporting quarterly earnings late on Thursday.

Royal Bank of Canada reported earnings per share, excluding one-off items, of $2.05 for the quarter through Jan. 31. Analysts had on average forecast earnings of $1.99 per share. RBC shares fell 0.4%

The largest percentage gainer on the TSX was Winpak Ltd, which rose 8.4%, while the largest decliner was Maxar Technologies Ltd, down 9.7%, after it reported earnings after the bell on Thursday that missed estimates.

On the economic beat, Statistics Canada announced that the consumer price index rose 1.7% on a year-over-year basis in January, following a 1.9% increase in December.

On a seasonally-adjusted monthly basis, the Consumer Price Index was up 0.5% in January, after increasing 0.1% in December.

Average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees rang in at $993 in December, little changed from the previous month, but up 2.3%, compared with December 2016.


The TSX Venture Exchange fell 2.31 points to 826.88

All but two of the 12 TSX subgroups stayed in positive country by lunch time, as energy stocks perked 1.1%, while materials improved 0.8%, and information technology advanced 0.7%

The two naysayers were industrials, dipping 0.3%, and gold, off 0.1%


U.S. stocks rose on Friday but were still on track to post weekly losses. Wall Street also digested the release of the Federal Reserve's monetary policy report.

The Dow Jones Industrials surged 140.34 points, to greet noon at 25,102.62, with Intel as the index's best-performing stock.

The S&P 500 added 20.88 points to 2,724.54, with utilities and tech as the best-performing sector.

The NASDAQ Composite prospered 59.86 points to 7,269.95.

As of Thursday's closed the Dow and the S&P 500 were on track to post a weekly decline of 1% each. This has been a volatile week for stocks, with the major averages posting strong gains in early trading before closing off those highs.

In corporate news, General Mills agreed to buy natural pet food company Blue Buffalo for about $8 billion in cash. Shares of Blue Buffalo surged more than 16%.

Shares of Hewlett Packard Enterprise jumped nearly 10% after reporting quarterly earnings and strong forward guidance.

The Fed released its monetary policy report, which said the central bank sees the U.S. economy past full employment, albeit with only "moderate" wage gains. The report serves as a blueprint for new Fed Chair Jerome Powell's testimony next week.

Investors are also watching out for speeches from three voting members of the Fed's policymaking committee: New York Fed President William Dudley, Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester and San Francisco Fed President John Williams.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year Treasury note gained ground, lowering yields to 2.87% from Thursday’s 2.92%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices gained 83 cents a barrel to $63.60 U.S.

Gold prices sank $1.70 to $1,331.00 U.S. an ounce.