Volatile Session has TSX Sharply in Green

Energy, Gold Enjoy Big Gains


Resource stocks proved the runaway winners in Toronto on Thursday, amid hope for better tidings in the energy industry.

The TSX Composite Index leaped 221.39 points, or 1.7%, to end Thursday at 13,097.76.

The Canadian dollar inched back 0.05 cents to 70.57 cents U.S.

As mentioned, energy stocks triumphed, with MEG Energy leading the pack, up 54 cents, or 34.4%, to $2.11, while Cenovus leaped 62 cents, or 22.8%, to $3.34.

In gold, Kinross proved the champion, grabbing 68 cents, or 10.8%, to $6.96, while B2Gold soared 44 cents, or 9.6%, to $5.02.

Materials also had a banner day, with Methanex climbing $1.61, or 9%, to $17.94, while Hudbay Minerals gained 22 cents, or 8.9%, to $2.69.

Tech stocks were among the few sectors that suffered, as Lightspeed POS docked $1.69, or 10.7%, to $14.07, while Shopify plummeted $57.59, or 10.5%, to $488.62.

Among consumer discretionary issues, Aritzia doffed 64 cents, or 5.7%, to $10.55, while The Stars Group pointed downward $1.55, or 5.4%, to $26.93.

Health-care stocks were also worse off, with Extendicare sliding 38 cents, or 6.7%, to $5.28, while Sienna Senior Living fell 77 cents, or 6.6%, to $11.02.

Economically speaking, Statistics Canada told investors this country’s merchandise exports rose 0.5% in February, while imports were down 0.8%.

As a result, Canada's merchandise trade deficit with the world narrowed from $1.7 billion in January to $983 million in February.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange gained 5.03 points, or 1.3%, to 386.16.

All but three of the 12 TSX subgroups were higher by the closing bell, with energy gushing 9.9%, gold, shining 5.7 %, and materials up 4.7%.

The three laggards were information technology, down 3.9%, consumer discretionary stocks, down 2.4%, and health-care, sliding 0.7%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks rose Thursday as oil’s biggest one-day rally on record eased concern about financial and job losses in the energy sector.

The Dow Jones Industrials popped 469.93 points, or 2.2%, to finish Thursday at 21,413.44.

The broader S&P 500 regained 56.4 points, or 2.3%, to 2,526.90.

The NASDAQ Composite screamed higher 126.73 points, or 1.7%, to 7,487.31.

WTI crude surged 24% to trade back above $25 a barrel on Thursday after President Donald Trump told the media he spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman, adding he expects both countries to cut production by about 10 million barrels.

Those comments sent U.S. crude prices up 24% for their best session on record. There were, however, concerns that both countries would follow through on production cuts of that magnitude.

Chevron and Exxon Mobil were the best-performing Dow stocks, Chevron rising 11% and Exxon picking up 7.7%.

The S&P 500 was led by an 9.1% rally in the energy sector. Stocks struggled earlier in the session as investors pored through grim unemployment data.

The U.S. Labor Department reported more than six million people filed for unemployment benefits in the week of March 27, a record.

Economists expected another five million to five million workers filed for jobless claims last week as coronavirus-related shutdowns roll through the country. The estimates ranged as high as nine million.

Boston Federal Reserve President Eric Rosengren said Wednesday that Congress likely will have to deliver more stimulus to help those at the lower end of the economic spectrum and to boost small business.

Unemployment is likely to "rise pretty dramatically over the next couple of months" and the economic damage won’t abate until the coronavirus is brought under control, he said.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo also said Wednesday the state’s model projects a high death rate through July.

More than 950,000 coronavirus cases have been confirmed globally, with over 216,000 in the U.S. alone, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Prices for the 10-Year U.S. Treasury eased slightly, raising yields to 0.62% from Wednesday’s 0.61%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices gained $4.73 to $25.04 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices gained $47.40 to $1,638.80 U.S. an ounce.