Energy, Health-Care Powers TSX Higher

Hexo in Focus

Canada's main stock index gained on Monday, helped by gains in energy shares on the back of higher crude prices.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index remained afloat 45.18 points to greet noon Monday at 16,185.53

The Canadian dollar dipped 0.05 cents at 74.89 cents U.S.

The largest percentage gainer on the TSX was Hexo Corp, which rose 46 cents, or 5.7%, to $8.56, after brokerage Cormark Securities upgraded stock to "buy" from "speculative buy".

Transalta Corp, the second biggest gainer on the main index, rose 46 cents, or 5.6%, to $8.73.

Westshore Terminals Investment fell 28 cents, or 1.4%., the most on the TSX, to $18.90, after brokerage BMO cut its price target on stock. The second biggest decliner was Knight Therapeutics, down 31 cents, or 3.9%, to $7.70, after Cormark Securities lowered its price target on stock.

On the economic front, Statistics Canada said foreign investors bought up $28.4 billion of Canadian securities in January, following a significant divestment in December. Meanwhile, Canadian investors reduced their holdings of foreign securities by $8.8 billion, led by sales of U.S. shares.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange gained 3.17 points to 630.94

The 12 TSX subgroups were evenly split, as health-care jumped 1.9%, with energy gushing 1.2%, while financials were 0.5% to the good.

The half-dozen laggards were weighed most by gold, 0.7% duller in price, while materials and information technology each fell back 0.4%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks pared most of their gains on Monday amid pressure from Boeing and Facebook, while investors braced themselves for a busy week highlighted by a key Federal Reserve meeting.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 24 points to 25,824.87

The S&P 500 hung onto 2.27 points to 2,824.75.

The NASDAQ Composite shied 0.4 points to 7,688.13

Boeing fell more than 2% after The Wall Street Journal reported the Department of Transportation and federal prosecutors were scrutinizing the development of the company's 737 Max planes. This comes after an Ethiopian Airlines flight involving the 737 Max 8 jet crashed last week.

Facebook shares also fell 2.8% after an analyst at Needham downgraded the company to hold from buy, citing worries about Facebook's pivot to privacy and encrypted messages as well as the possibility of more regulatory scrutiny.

Investors braced themselves for a busy week highlighted by a Federal Reserve meeting that kicks off on Tuesday. Market expectations for a rate hike are at zero, according to the CME Group's FedWatch tool. However, investors will look for clues about the central bank's economic outlook.

The Fed signaled it will be "patient" in raising rates at its previous meeting this year.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury gained ground, lowering yields back to Friday’s 2.59%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices were up 45 cents to $58.97 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices gained $1.40 to $1,304.30 U.S. an ounce.