Positive Open for TSX

Cenovus, Nuvista in Focus

Equities in Canada’s largest market rose at the open on Thursday, as gold prices jumped on the back of softer Treasury yields and a weaker dollar, while crude oil levels fuelled hopes for a faster economic rebound.

The TSX grabbed 96.98 points to commence business Thursday at 19,258.64.

The Canadian dollar nicked forward 0.01 cents to 79.90 cents U.S.

Canada is facing industry calls to extend financial aid to smaller airlines, after offering a $5.9-billion lifeline to Air Canada, as new COVID-19 variants cast early clouds ahead of the vital summer travel season.

Scotiabank raised the rating on Cenovus Energy to outperform from sector perform. Cenovus shares docked two cents to $9.99.

National Bank of Canada cut the rating on Nuvista Energy to sector perform from outperform. Nuvista shares fell two cents to $2.27.

National Bank of Canada cut the rating on Surge Energy to sector perform from outperform. Surge shares lost two cents to 58 cents.

CIBC cuts the rating on Transat AT Inc. to underperformer from neutral. Shares in Transat dipped 11 cents to $4.49.

On the economic stage, Statistics Canada reported manufacturing sales decreased 1.6% to $55.4 billion in February, following a 3.4% increase in January. Lower sales of motor vehicles and motor vehicle parts were largely responsible for the decline.

Elsewhere, the Canadian Real Estate Association reported home sales recorded over Canadian MLS Systems climbed 5.2% between February and March to set another new all-time record.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange regrouped 19.97 points, or 2%, to 944.63.

All but two of the 12 TSX subgroups were positive in the first hour, with gold brightening 2.6%, materials stronger by 2%, and health-care jumping 1.3%.

The two laggards were energy, down 0.6%, and utilities, dipping 0.2%.

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. stocks climbed to record levels on Thursday after key companies reported strong earnings and fresh economic data pointed to a rebound in consumer spending and the jobs market.

The Dow Jones Industrials galloped 243.39 points to open at 33,974.28, to hit an all-time high.

The S&P 500 gained 34.36 points to 4,159.14.

The NASDAQ Composite regained 157.5 points, or 1.1%, to 14,015.34.

Shares of Citigroup climbed 2% after the bank posted results that beat analysts’ estimates for first-quarter profit with strong investment banking revenue and a bigger-than-expected release of loan-loss reserves.

Shares of UnitedHealth, a Dow member, gained 1% after results topped the Street’s forecasts and the health insurer raised guidance for 2021.

Pepsi shares added 0.3% after the consumer snack and drink maker said sales last quarter rose nearly 7%, topping estimates.

Bank of America shares rose as earnings last quarter blew past the Street on booming trading and investment banking results as well the release of loan-loss reserves. The shares dipped 1%, however.

Newly public crypto exchange Coinbase erased earlier gains and turned negative on Thursday. The stock got a boost earlier after it was revealed Ark Invest’s Cathie Wood loaded up on the first day of trading.

Retail sales surged 9.8% in March as additional stimulus sent consumer spending soaring, the Commerce Department reported Thursday. That number topped the Dow Jones estimate of a 6.1% gain.

A separate report on Thursday showed that first-time filings for unemployment insurance dropped to the lowest level since March 2020. The U.S. Labor Department reported 576,000 new jobless claims for the week ended April 10. Economists polled by Dow Jones expected a total of 710,000.

Prices for 10-Year Treasurys jumped, lowering yields to 1.57% from Wednesday’s 1.63%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices picked up 22 cents to $63.37 U.S. a barrel.

Gold sprang back up $29.90 to $1,766.20 U.S. an ounce.