TSX Ends Modestly Higher


Despite paring some early gains and staying a bit sluggish at times, the Canadian stock market ended on a positive note on Friday, led by gains in gold, energy and healthcare stocks.

Higher crude oil and gold prices aided the rally in the market. However, trade war concerns limited the market's upside.

The two-day trade talks between the Chinese delegation led by the country's Commerce Vice Minister Wang Shouwen and David Malpass, the U.S. Treasury under secretary for international affairs ended without any progress.

Meanwhile, China's finance minister Liu Kun has reportedly said in an interview with Reuters that China will respond "resolutely" and continue to hit back against the US if more tariffs are imposed.

Speaking at the Kansas City Fed's annual policy symposium in Jackson Hole, the U.S. Federal Reserve Chief Jerome Powell said that the strength of the U.S. economic expansion justifies gradual interest rate hikes.

Powell said, "There is good reason to expect that this strong performance will continue," and added "As the most recent FOMC statement indicates, if the strong growth in income and jobs continues, further gradual increases in the target range for the federal funds rate will likely be appropriate." Powell also said that he would do whatever is necessary to avoid another financial crisis.

The benchmark S&P/TSX ended up 29.26 points or 0.18%, at 16,356.05, after having scaled a low of 16,331.51 and a high of 16,400.90 intraday.

Among gold stocks, IAMGOLD (IMG.TO) climbed up 7%, Yamana Gold (YRI.TO) advanced 4.7%, Goldcorp (G.TO) ended nearly 3% up, Kinross Gold Corporation (K.TO) gained 2.4%, Eldorado Gold (ELD.TO) and B2Gold (BTO.TO) both added about 5.6% and Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) gained 1.9%.

The Capped Materials Index moved up 1.85%. Agnico Eagle Mines (AEM.TO) ended up 3.9%, First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO) gained nearly 4%, Wheaton Precious Metals Corp. (WPM.TO) gained nearly 2.5%, Franco-Nevada (FNV.TO) advanced by 1.35% and Teck Resources (TECK.B.TO) ended 1.3% up.

The Energy Index ended 0.45% up. Crescent Point Energy (CPG.TO) and Imperial Oil (IMO.TO), Encana (ECA.TO), Vermilion Energy Inc. (VET.TO), Tourmaline Oil Corp. (TOU.TO) and ARC Resources (ARX.TO) gained 0.4 to 1.2%, while Cenovus Energy (CVE.TO) gained 2.6% and Baytex Energy (BTE.TO) added 1.9%.

Enbridge (ENB.TO) declined by about 1.6%. The company announced that it has agreed to buy all of the outstanding public common units of Spectra Energy Partners LP (SEP) on the basis of 1.111 common shares of Enbridge for each common unit of SEP. The transaction is valued at US$3.3 billion or C$4.3 billion.

The Capped Healthcare Index surged up 5.35%. Canopy Growth Corporation (WEED.TO) climbed up nearly 8%, Aurora Cannabis Inc. (ACB.TO) gained almost 7% and Aphria Inc. (APH.TO) soared 22.7%. Hydropothecary Corporation (HEXO.TO) gained 5.8% and Cronos Group Inc. (CRON.TO) spurted 16.75%,

The Capped Information Technology Index ended up 0.82%. Constellation Software Inc. (CSU.TO) gained 2.3%, Shopify Inc. (SHOP.TO) added 1.8%, BlackBerry (BB.TO) advanced by 3% and Kinaxis Inc. (KXS.TO) advanced by 1.6%.

In the banking space, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM:TO) edged up marginally, while Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO), Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO), Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) and Toronto Dominion Bank (TD.TO) all ended slightly lower.

The U.S. market ended higher, with the Dow rising 0.5%, the Nasdaq climbing up 0.9% and the S&P 500 advancing 0.6%, after Fed chief Jerome Powell reiterated reiterated the Fed's stance that further gradual increases in interest rates will likely be appropriate if the strong growth in income and jobs continues.

In economic news from U.S., a report released by the Commerce Department showed a much bigger than expected decrease in durable goods orders in the month of July. The report said durable goods orders tumbled by 1.7% in July after climbing by 0.7% in June. Economists had expected durable goods orders to drop by 0.5%.

European markets ended mostly higher, although buying interest was subdued in most of the markets in the region as investors awaited the Fed chief's speech at the Jackson Hole Symposium. Asian markets ended mostly flat.

In commodities, crude oil futures crude oil futures for October delivery ended up $0.89, or 1.3%, at $68.72 a barrel. Oil futures gained 5.4% in the week.

Gold futures for December ended up $19.30, or 1.6%, at $1,213.30 an ounce. Gold gained 2.5% in the week, its first weekly gain in about seven weeks.

Silver futures for September ended up $0.252 at $14.794 an ounce. Copper futures settled at $2.7005 per pound, gaining $0.0460 for the session.