|TSX stronger to close August |
Canada's main stock index surged on Friday, despite worries about increasing tensions in Ukraine and weakness in the financial sector offset positive economic data.
The S&P/TSX composite index moved higher by 67.56 points to end the day, week and month at 15,625.73.
The Canadian dollar faded 0.10 at 91.97 cents U.S.
The benchmark TSX looked on track to record weekly and monthly gains. It is up about 14% this year.
Gold stocks continued to shine, with Barrick Gold hiked 24 cents to $19.99, and Goldcorp added 41 cents to $30.53.
Financials made slight gains, with Toronto Dominion Bank shedding
13 cents to $57.25, while Royal Bank of Canada picked up 22 cents to $80.77.
While most of the major Canadian banks reported solid results earlier this week, fund managers said investors were booking profits after shares in the sector had a strong run ahead of the earnings season.
Shares of energy producers reflected higher oil prices. Suncor Energy added 42 cents to $44.63, and Canadian Natural Resources advanced 67 cents to $47.39.
On the economic calendar, the economy showed encouraging signs in the second quarter of 2014. Figures released by Statistics Canada revealed that real gross domestic product (GDP) rose 0.8%, following a 0.2% increase in the first quarter. This was the largest quarterly gain since the third quarter of 2011. On a monthly basis, real GDP by industry increased 0.3% in June.
In a mini-blizzard of activity, the agency also said its Industrial Product Price Index declined 0.3% in July, mainly because of lower prices for energy and petroleum products. StatsCan’s Raw Materials Price Index declined 1.4%, mostly due to lower prices for crude energy products.
The TSX Venture Exchange poked ahead 1.62 points to 1,023.99.
All but four of the 14 Toronto subgroups were higher on the day, with gold soaring 1.6%, energy better by 1%, and materials up 0.9%.
Utilities weighed most on the four subgroups that lost ground, skidding 0.6%, while information technology stepped back 0.2%, and consumer staples were down 0.1%.
U.S. stocks closed with modest gains Friday in light trading, building on their weekly and monthly advances, as largely upbeat U.S. economic data appeared to outweigh overseas worries.
The Dow Jones Industrials gained 18.88 points to 17,098.45.
The S&P 500 improved 6.63 points to 2,003.37, its 32nd record of the year. The NASDAQ chugged ahead 22.57 points to 4,580.27.
The S&P 500 gained 3.8% for the month, representing the benchmark’s best August performance since 2000. The S&P 500 also achieved its largest monthly percentage jump since February, when it rose 4.3%.
For the week, the S&P 500 tacked on nearly 0.8%. The Dow scored advances of 0.6% for the week and 3.2% for the month, while the NASDAQ climbed 0.9% for the week and 4.8% for August.
The S&P and Dow notched for their fourth up week in a row, representing their best streak since an eight-week advance in October and November.
Avago Technologies Ltd. closed up 7.5%, performing best among S&P 500 stocks.
Wall Street analysts raised their price targets for the Apple supplier in the wake of another better-than-expected profit report and ahead of the coming iPhone 6 launch. Shares in Apple Inc. finished up 0.2%.
Consumer spending dipped 0.1% in July, marking its first decline in six months and falling short of the 0.1% increase expected by economists.
On the upside, the latest figures for consumer sentiment and Chicago-area business conditions topped estimates.
Prices for 10-year U.S. Treasuries sagged, prodding yields up to 2.34% from Thursday’s 2.33%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.
Oil prices were up $1.32 to $95.87 U.S. a barrel.
Gold prices faltered $2.60 to $1,287.80 U.S. an ounce.