Small Gains for TSX at Open

Gold Stocks Show the Way


Canada's main stock index opened higher on Wednesday as gold prices rose on hopes of a U.S.-China trade truce, lifting shares of precious metal miners.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index gained 32.17 points to start out Wednesday at 15,969.61

The Canadian dollar picked up 0.15 cents at 75.85 cents U.S.

Barrick Gold outlined a proposal to settle disputes between its Acacia Mining unit and Tanzania's government, a proposal that includes a $300-million payment by the Canadian miner to settle tax claims.

Barrick shares sprinted 27 cents, or 1.5%, to $18.18.

National Bank of Canada raised the target on Sandstorm Gold to $8.50 from $8.00. Sandstorm shares gave back five cents to $7.38.

National also raised the target price on Boralex to $24.00 from $23.50. Boralex shares docked four cents to $18.33.

RBC cut the price target on Inter Pipeline to $25.00 from $28.00. Inter shares gained 20 cents, or nearly 1%, to $21.20.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange nicked up 1.38 points to 623.43.

Seven of the 12 TSX subgroups were stronger in the first hour of trade, as information technology gained 0.9%, gold acquired 0.7%, and materials strengthened 0.6%.

The five laggards were co-led by health-care and energy, each down 0.4%, and consumer staples, off 0.04%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks were little changed to start off Wednesday's session, taking a breather from a recent rally, as investors looked ahead to the release of a summary from the Federal Reserve's meeting in January.

The Dow Jones Industrials gained 22.06 points to kick off Wednesday at 25,913.38

The S&P 500 inched up 2.21 points to 2,781.97

The NASDAQ Composite gained 16.68 points to 7,503.44

CVS Health shares fell more than 8% after issuing a weaker-than-expected earnings forecast for 2019. The company's guidance comes after closing a $70-billion deal to acquire health insurer Aetna in November.

Stocks have been on a tear lately in part because of the Fed's perceived pause on rate hikes. The Dow and NASDAQ are riding an eight-week winning streak, while the S&P 500 is up seven of the past eight weeks. Since the Fed's meeting in January, the major indexes are all up more than 4%.

The Fed said on Jan. 30 it will be "patient" in tightening monetary policy moving forward and kept interest rates unchanged. Investors will parse through the minutes, looking for more clues about how long the Fed plans to remain patient. The minutes are scheduled for release for 2 p.m. ET.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury settled, raising yields to 2.65% from Tuesday’s 2.64%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices lost a penny to $56.08 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices grew $2.80 to $1,347.60 U.S. an ounce.