Stocks Gain on Trade Deal Hopes

Banks, Gibson Energy in Vogue

Equities in Canada’s largest centre opened higher on Wednesday, tracking gains in global stocks, after a report that Washington and Beijing were close to a preliminary trade deal, while higher oil prices boosted energy shares.

The TSX Composite Index recovered 34.16 points to kick off Wednesday at 16,926.34

The Canadian dollar moved higher 0.13 to 75.37 cents U.S.

Royal Bank of Canada missed estimates for quarterly profit on Wednesday, as equity trading weakened and also set aside more funds to cover bad loans.

RBC shares tumbled $1.84, or 1.7%, to $105.34.

National Bank of Canada's fourth-quarter profit beat analysts' expectations on Wednesday, helped by growth across segments. National shares gained $1.27, or 1.8%, to $72.12.

Canadian Natural Resources expects to spend $4.05 billion in 2020, $250 million more than in 2019, after Alberta lifted some curtailments on new oil wells last month. National Resources gained 80 cents, or 2.2%, to $37.01.

RBC cuts the target price on Bank of Montreal to $109.00 from $111.00. BMO shares picked up $1.29, or 1.3%, to $99.86.

Citigroup raises target price on BRP to $73.00 from $71.00. BRP shares gathered 52 cents to $63.81.

RBC raised the rating on Gibson Energy to outperform from sector perform. Gibson shares shot higher 78 cents, or 3.1%, to $25.91.

As expected, the Bank of Canada this hour maintained its target for the overnight rate at 1.75% The Bank Rate is correspondingly 2% and the deposit rate is 1.5%

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange gained 1.59 points to 539.91

The 12 Toronto subgroups were evenly divided, as energy regained 1.3%, information technology advanced 0.8%, and communications picked up 0.4%.

The half-dozen laggards were led by gold, dulling in price 0.7%, while consumer discretionary and health-care each surrendered 0.3%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks jumped Wednesday, boosted by a news report from Bloomberg that said the U.S. and China were edging closer to a trade deal.

The Dow Jones Industrials resurfaced 192.45 points, to begin Wednesday trading at 27,695.26.

The S&P 500 regained 21.75 points to 3,114.95.

The NASDAQ picked up 55.44 points to 8,576.05

The Bloomberg report, which cited people familiar with the talks, said the two countries were moving closer to agreeing on the amount of tariffs that would be rolled back in a so-called phase-one trade deal. President Donald Trump also said Wednesday that trade talks with China were going well.

Shares of chipmakers and Apple rose Wednesday, although the gains were muted as investors were cautious about the new report. Apple was up 0.8%.

Nvidia gained 1.4%, and Micron Technology traded higher 1.8%. These stocks have been whipsawed by trade deal related headlines for the last two years.

On the data front, private payrolls rose by just 67,000 last month, according to data from ADP and Moody’s Analytics, or well below an estimate of 150,000.

Prices for the 10-Year U.S. Treasury sagged, raising yields to 1.77% from Tuesday’s 1.72%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices gained $2.03 at $58.13 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices sank $4.80 to $1,479.60 U.S. an ounce.