TSX Mirrors Rise in Energy Shares

Aphria, Toromont Shine Brightest

Canada's main stock index rose slightly on Friday, as energy stocks gained from higher oil prices and upbeat earnings from the country's largest pipeline operator, Enbridge.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index ballooned 161.1 points, or 1%, to greet noon at 15,857.08

The Canadian dollar recovered 0.12 cents at 75.33 cents U.S.

Canadian markets are closed Monday for Family Day.

The largest percentage gainer on the TSX was Toromont Industries, whose shares jumped $5.78, or 9.7%, to $65.33, after topping quarterly earnings' estimates.

Another huge gainer was Aphria, which rose 54 cents, or 4.5%, to $12.59, after a special committee concluded the acquisition of its LatAm assets was within acceptable range.

MTY Food Group Inc fell $4.71, or 6.7%, the most on the TSX, to $65.15, after reporting quarterly results.

On the economic slate, Statistics Canada said foreign investors reduced their holdings of Canadian securities by $19.0 billion in December, led by a record divestment in Canadian bonds. At the same time, Canadian investors reduced their holdings of foreign securities by $425 million, on sales of U.S. Treasury instruments.

Meanwhile, the Canadian Real Estate Association said national home sales rose 3.6% between December 2018 and January 2019. However, actual (not seasonally adjusted) home sales were down by 4% from a year ago. The number of newly listed homes edged up 1% month-over-month in January.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange gained 3.51 points to 611.91

Seven of the 12 TSX subgroups were higher, as energy roared ahead 3%, health-care, better by 1.6%, and industrials surged 1.4%,

The four laggards were weighed most by information technology, down 0.6%, gold, off 0.5%, and real-estate lapsing 0.2%.

Materials were unchanged by noon hour.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks surged on Friday amid increasing hopes for a U.S.-China trade deal as equities were on pace to post another solid weekly gain.

The Dow Jones Industrials screamed higher 342.67 points, or 1.4%, to 25,782.06, as J.P. Morgan Chase and Goldman Sachs outperformed.

The S&P 500 regained 22.73 points to 2,768.68, led by the energy and industrials sectors.

The NASDAQ Composite gained 27.8 points to 7,454.76

Bank stocks rose, as Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, J.P. Morgan Chase, Citigroup and Bank of America advanced more than 2% each.

The 30-stock Dow and NASDAQ were both on pace to post their eight consecutive weekly gain. The S&P 500, meanwhile, was on track for its seventh weekly gain in eight. The indexes were all up more than 1% entering Friday's session.

On the data front Friday, industrial production for January fell 0.6%, towering over an expected increase of 0.3%. Consumer sentiment data are scheduled for release later on Friday.

Chinese President Xi Jinping said trade talks between the U.S. and China will continue next week in Washington. This comes after a U.S. trade delegation led by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer was in Beijing this week.

China and the U.S. are trying to strike a trade deal before an early March deadline.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury slid, raising yields to 2.67% from Thursday’s 2.65%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices gained $1.29 to $55.70 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices gained $5.50 to $1,319.40 U.S. an ounce.