More Climbing for Canadian Stocks

New Gold, First Quantum in Focus


Equity markets in Canada’s largest centre hit nearly four-week highs on Wednesday, driven by optimism that United States and China could be nearing a trade deal, which also boosted oil prices by more than 2.5%

The S&P/TSX Composite Index zoomed 128.84 points to greet noon at 14,733.99

The Canadian dollar gained 0.2 cents at 75.67 U.S.

The largest percentage gainers on the TSX were New Gold, which jumped 11 cents, or 7.7%, and First Quantum Minerals, which rose 57 cents, or 5.3%, to $11.40.

Stella-Jones rallied from initial negative readings during the morning to gain 15 cents to $41.82. Aphria Inc also pulled out of its funk, gaining 17 cents, or 2%, to $8.57.

The Bank of Canada kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 1.75% on Wednesday.

Elsewhere, on the economic front, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation said its seasonally-adjusted annualized rate of housing starts fell to 213,419 units from an upwardly-revised 224,349 units in November.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange regained 3.87 points to 592.13

All but two of the 12 TSX subgroups gained mid-session, with health-care sprinting 3.4%, consumer discretionary stocks, up 1.6%, and energy, better by 1.5%

The two laggards were utilities, down 0.4%, and communications, down 0.1%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks rose in another volatile session on Wednesday as investors weighed the latest developments surrounding U.S.-China trade talks.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ballooned 128.56 points to 23,916.01, as Boeing rose 1.4%

The S&P 500 improved 11.94 points to 2,586.35, as the tech and energy sectors outperformed

The NASDAQ Composite gained 53.73 points to 6,950.73

Caterpillar rose 0.8%. The stock, along with Boeing’s, is largely seen as a bellwether for trade because of the company’s exposure to overseas markets.

U.S. trade officials said in a statement they will report back to the White House for further guidance on the talks.

Prices for the benchmark for the 10-year U.S. Treasury were unchanged, keeping yields at Tuesday’s 2.73%.

Oil prices shot higher $2.52 to $52.30 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices picked up four dollars to $1,289.90 U.S. an ounce.