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Energy stocks put Toronto Stock Exchange on course for fourth month of gains

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Toronto Stock Exchange

Toronto Stock Exchange index hit a fresh record high on Monday and was on course for a fourth month of gains as a jump in oil prices lifted energy stocks.

* At 09:43 a.m. ET (13:43 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 34.49 points, or 0.17%, at 19,886.67. The benchmark was on course to end May with a near 4% gain.

* Energy stocks climbed 1.7% to lead sectoral gains as U.S. crude prices and Brent crude added 1.4% each. [O/R]

* A Reuters poll of strategists predicted that the main index will climb above the 20,000 mark by the end of 2021 as a recovery in the global economy from the coronavirus crisis boosts the outlook for resource stocks.

* Data showed Canada‘s current account balance was a surplus of C$1.18 billion ($977.47 million) in the first quarter, from a revised C$5.27 billion deficit in the fourth quarter of 2020, due to higher trade in goods and services.

* Cloud-based software maker Dye & Durham Ltd jumped 18.0% to the top of TSX as a management-led shareholder group offered to acquire the company for about C$3.4 billion ($2.8 billion).

* Energy firm Pieridae Energy Ltd rose 2.4% after the company said it hired Japanese lender MUFG Bank to help raise $10 billion for its proposed Goldboro liquefied natural gas (LNG) export plant in Nova Scotia.

* Dundee Precious Metals <DPM.TO> fell 4.4%, the most on the TSX, after it agreed to buy INV Metals Inc, which soared 51%. The second biggest decliner was Cronos Group Inc <CRON.TO>, down 3.8%.

* The most heavily traded shares by volume were Athabasca Oil <ATH.TO>, Baytex Energy <BTE.TO> and Whitecap Resources <WCP.TO>.

* On the TSX, 136 issues were higher, while 78 issues declined for a 1.74-to-1 ratio favoring gainers, with 9.33 million shares traded.

* The TSX posted 9 new 52-week highs and no new lows.

* Across all Canadian issues there were 63 new 52-week highs and 5 new lows, with total volume of 27.06 million shares.

 

(Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

Economy

Canadian retail sales slide in April, May as COVID-19 shutdown bites

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december retail sales

Canadian retail sales plunged in April and May, as shops and other businesses were shuttered amid a third wave of COVID-19 infections, Statistics Canada data showed on Wednesday.

Retail trade fell 5.7% in April, the sharpest decline in a year, missing analyst forecasts of a 5.0% drop. In a preliminary estimate, Statscan said May retail sales likely fell by 3.2% as store closures dragged on.

“April showers brought no May flowers for Canadian retailers this year,” Royce Mendes, senior economist at CIBC Capital Markets, said in a note.

Statscan said that 5.0% of retailers were closed at some point in April. The average length of the closure was one day, it said, citing respondent feedback.

Sales decreased in nine of the 11 subsectors, while core sales, which exclude gasoline stations and motor vehicles, were down 7.6% in April.

Clothing and accessory store sales fell 28.6%, with sales at building material and garden equipment stores falling for the first time in nine months, by 10.4%.

“These results continue to suggest that the Bank of Canada is too optimistic on the growth outlook for the second quarter, even if there is a solid rebound occurring now in June,” Mendes said.

The central bank said in April that it expects Canada’s economy to grow 6.5% in 2021 and signaled interest rates could begin to rise in the second half of 2022.

The Canadian dollar held on to earlier gains after the data, trading up 0.3% at 1.2271 to the greenback, or 81.49 U.S. cents.

(Reporting by Julie Gordon in Ottawa, additional reporting by Fergal Smith in Toronto, editing by Alexander Smith)

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Economy

Canadian dollar notches a 6-day high

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Canadian dollar

The Canadian dollar strengthened for a third day against its U.S. counterpart on Wednesday, as oil prices rose and Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell reassured markets that the central bank is not rushing to hike rates.

Markets were rattled last week when the Fed shifted to more hawkish guidance. But Powell on Tuesday said the economic recovery required more time before any tapering of stimulus and higher borrowing costs are appropriate, helping Wall Street recoup last week’s decline.

Canada is a major producer of commodities, including oil, so its economy is highly geared to the economic cycle.

Brent crude rose above $75 a barrel, reaching its highest since late 2018, after an industry report on U.S. crude inventories reinforced views of a tightening market as travel picks up in Europe and North America.

The Canadian dollar was trading 0.3% higher at 1.2271 to the greenback, or 81.49 U.S. cents, after touching its strongest level since last Thursday at 1.2265.

The currency also gained ground on Monday and Tuesday, clawing back some of its decline from last week.

Canadian retail sales fell by 5.7% in April from March as provincial governments put in place restrictions to tackle a third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, Statistics Canada said. A flash estimate showed sales down 3.2% in May.

Still, the Bank of Canada expects consumer spending to lead a strong rebound in the domestic economy as vaccinations climb and containment measures ease.

Canadian government bond yields were mixed across a steeper curve, with the 10-year up nearly 1 basis point at 1.416%. Last Friday, it touched a 3-1/2-month low at 1.364%.

(Reporting by Fergal Smith; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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Economy

Toronto Stock Exchange higher at open as energy stocks gain

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Toronto Stock Exchange edged higher at open on Wednesday as heavyweight energy stocks advanced, while data showing a plunge in domestic retail sales in April and May capped the gains.

* At 9:30 a.m. ET (13:30 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 16.77 points, or 0.08%, at 20,217.42.

(Reporting by Amal S in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

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