Toronto Stocks Gain at Outset

Housing Prices Flat

Canada's main stock index opened higher on Thursday as material stocks gained, with copper prices hitting its highest in more than a week.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index gained 67.05 points at Thursday’s open to 14,850.11

The Canadian dollar lost 0.13 cents to 74.78 U.S.

Barrick Gold has made progress in talks with the Tanzanian government to resolve a nearly two-year-long tax dispute, but sources say it is premature to say a deal has been reached.

Barrick Gold shares lost three cents to $18.72.

CIBC cuts price target on Acadian Timber to $17.00 from $20.00. Acadian picked up 19 cents, or 1.3%, to $14.76.

RBC cut the rating on Hudbay Minerals to sector perform from outperform. Hudbay shares stepped back 20 cents, or 3.1%, to $6.31.

On the economic front, Statistics Canada’s new housing price was unchanged on a national basis for a third month in a row. In October, new home buyers in 16 of the 27 census metropolitan areas surveyed saw flat or lower prices.

Prices at the national level have remained largely unchanged since November 2017.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange poked higher 1.21 points to open at 563.45.

All but one of the 12 TSX subgroups started the day in the winner’s circle, as consumer staples soared 1%, while information technology and consumer discretionary stocks each gained 0.8%

The lone laggard was in communications, fading 0.3%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks opened higher on Thursday as investors digested the recent developments surrounding the ongoing U.S.-China trade war in what has been a very volatile week for Wall Street.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gathered 66.17 points to 24,593.44, as Caterpillar outperformed.

The S&P 500 poked ahead 4.73 points to 2,655.80, led by gains in tech and utilities.

The NASDAQ tacked on 6.04 points to 7,104.35

General Electric shares jumped more than 10% after J.P. Morgan analyst Stephen Tusa, a longtime bear on the company, upgraded GE. The analyst cited a more “balanced risk reward at current levels.”

Market participants are gradually becoming more optimistic about the prospect of the U.S. and China reaching a comprehensive trade agreement. It follows a flurry of news this week pointing to cooling tensions between the two global powers.

On Wednesday, media reports circulated that Chinese state-owned companies had at least 500,000 tons of U.S. soybeans. It was the first major U.S. soybean purchases in more than six months, and the clearest sign to date that China plans to step up efforts to support its slowing economy.

Prices for the benchmark for the 10-year U.S. Treasury were higher, thus lowering yields to 2.9% from Wednesday’s 2.91%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions

Oil prices gained 44 cents to $50.71 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices sank $3.30 to $1,246.70 U.S. an ounce.