Calgary Herald

banks, gold push TsX To posiTive close

- By John Morrissy

Canada’s benchmark stock index posted its first gain in the past four sessions on Monday, lifted by materials and financial issues.

The S&P/TSX composite index added 67.75 points to 12,857.70, an advance of 0.53%.

Royal Bank was the most influentia­l mover to the upside, gaining 21¢, or 0.39%, to $54.54 after announcing it was exiting the American retail banking market by selling its U.S. retail operations for US$3.62 billion to PNC Financial Services Group Inc.

Manulife Financial rose 39¢, or 2.51%, to $15.95 after an analyst at Toronto Dominion Bank raised the insurer’s rating.

Barrick Gold and Goldcorp rose 0.19% and 2.29%, respective­ly, as bullion prices rose US$2.90 an ounce to US$1,542.00 an ounce.

U.S. oil prices, meanwhile, edged up US25¢ a barrel to $93.26, leaving the TSX energy subsector flat with a loss of 0.05%.

Eight of 10 index sub-sectors rose, with 160 index members posting gains compared with 92 losers and eight even on the day.

Losers included Sino-Forest, which fell 14.42%, or 46¢, to $2.73 after a newspaper report said “inconsiste­ncies” were found in the valuation of Sino-Forest’s holdings in China’s Yunnan province.

BlackBerry maker Research In Mo-

tion also continued to fall after issuing weak profits and guidance last week. RIM’s shares fell $1.83, or 6.72%, to $25.41.

The Canadian dollar was unchanged on the day at US$1.0202.

The Venture composite index fell 15.67 points, or 0.83%, to 1,882.27.

The Dow Jones industrial average added 76.02 points, or 0.63%, to 12,080.38 and the Nasdaq gained 13.18 points, or 0.50%, to 2,629.66.

In Europe, uncertaint­y over the Greek debt situation continued to weigh on stocks. London’s FTSE lost 0.38%, the Paris CAC was of 0.63% and Frankfurt’s DAX lost 0.19%.

“Without any major developmen­ts to hang their hats on, bulls and bears have been pulling in opposite directions today but neither side has been able to establish global supremacy. In Europe, bears appear to have the upper hand, driving indices and commoditie­s lower on indication­s that negotiatio­ns over what to do about Greece could drag on into July awaiting decisions on additional austerity measures and private sector involvemen­t,” said CMCMarkets analyst Colin Cieszynski.

“Markets may have trouble finding direction until Wednesday afternoon’s Fed commentary and press conference which could give a better indication of the central bank’s plans for monetary policy in a postQE2 environmen­t.”

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