TSX Enjoys Strong Finish

MEG, IMO in Focus

There were positives all round for markets in Toronto, as oil prices gushed to overcome weakness in other resource stocks.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index gained 59.84 points to close Wednesday at 16,396.29, after Tuesday’s downward session saw the end of a six-day win streak.

The Canadian dollar inched forward 0.07 cents at 75.08 cents U.S.

MEG Energy was among the major gainers of the day, picking up 42 cents, or 7.2%, to $6.24, while Imperial Oil triumphed $1.17, or 3.1%, to $38.64.

In health-care, Canopy Growth Corporation added 56 cents, or 1%, to $56.26, while Aurora Cannabis advanced 39 cents, or 3.3%, to $12.11.

Among consumer discretionary stocks, Magna International moved up $1.25, or 1.8%, to $71.47, while Canada Goose Holdings flapped its wings 99 cents, or 1.5%, to $66.35.

Among gold stocks, Kinross Gold decreased in price eight cents, or 1.7%, to $4.71, while Kirkland Lake Gold subsided $1.16, or 2.7%, to $42.22.

In the materials sector, Agnico Eagle Mines settled 80 cents, or 1.4%, to $57.41, while First Quantum Minerals chucked 20 cents, or 1.3%, to $15.65.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange regained 0.5 points to 629.09

All but two of the 12 Toronto subgroups strengthened, as energy surged 2%, while health-care jumped 1.5%, and consumer discretionary moved higher by 1%.

The two laggards were gold, off 1.4%, and materials, down 0.5%.

ON WALLSTREET

The S&P 500 rose slightly on Wednesday, as the Federal Reserve reaffirmed that it would keep rates unchanged this year.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average came off its lows of the day, shedding 7.38 points to close at 26,143.20, Boeing shares weighed on the Dow, falling 1.1%, while Goldman Sachs rose 1.1%, leading the index.

The S&P 500 gained 10.01 points to 2,888.21

The NASDAQ Composite galloped 54.97 points to 7,964.24

The Federal Reserve released the minutes of its March monetary policy meeting at 2 p.m. ET. Last month, the U.S. central bank decided to maintain interest rates and hold off on any further increases this year.

The minutes revealed that Fed officials are leaving room for possible interest rate increase by the end of the year but currently do not expect to make any changes.

The U.S. Labor Department said its Consumer Price Index rose 0.4% in March, the largest increase in over a year.

Meanwhile, global economic growth was a sore point for risk asset markets. The International Monetary Fund cut its forecast for world economic growth this year, saying a slowdown could force world leaders to coordinate stimulus measures.

The fund said it expects the world economy to grow by 3.3% this year. That’s down from its previous outlook of 3.5%, which was also a downgrade.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury gained, lowering yields to 2.47% from Tuesday’s 2.5%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices picked up 50 cents to $64.48 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices improved $3.90 to $1,312.20 U.S. an ounce.