The Canadian stock market ended on an upbeat note on Wednesday, extending gains for a second straight day, thanks to better than expected GDP data and gains in global markets.
According to the data released by Statistics Canada, Canadian GDP unexpectedly rose 0.1% in August, rising for a seventh straight month. Economists had expected GDP to remain unchanged.
The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index ended up 132.78 points, or 0.89%, at 15,027.28, after scaling a low of 14,982.65 and a high of 15,085.51 intraday.
Healthcare stocks rallied, driving the Capped Healthcare Index up by 7.51%. With top information technology stocks surging higher, the Information Technology Index climbed up 3.53%. Materials, Energy, consumer discretionary and consumer staples stocks were among the other prominent gainers. Bank stocks turned in a mixed performance.
In the healthcare space, Aphria Inc. (APH.TO) jumped 18%, Aurora Cannabis (ACB.TO) surged up 12.15%, Hexo Corp. (HEXO.TO) gained 11%, Canopy Growth Corporation (WEED.TO) gained about 9%, Bausch Health Company (BHC.TO) gained 3.3%, Extendicare Inc. (EXE.TO) advanced by 1.7% and Sienna Senior Living Inc. (SIA.TO) added 1.3%.
Among information technology stocks, CGI Group Inc. (GIB.A.TO) gained 3.7%, Constellation Software Inc. (CSU.TO) moved up 2%, Shopify Inc. (SHOP.TO) rallied 7.25%, Open Text Corporation (OTEX.TO) advanced by 1.85%, BlackBerry (BB.TO) ended 2.5% up, Descartes Systems Group Inc. (DSG.TO) surged up 4.6%, Kinaxis Inc. (KXS.TO) gained nearly 4%, Celestica Inc. (CLS.TO) ended 2.6% up and Enghouse Systems (ENGH.TO) added 1.2%.
Among materials stocks, First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO) gained 12% after reporting a net profit of $61 million for the third quarter, as compared to net loss of $52 million in the year-ago quarter.
Teck Resources (TECK.B.TO) climbed up 7.8%, Nutrien (NTR.TO) gained 2.5% and CCL Industries Inc. (CCL.B.TO) advanced by 1.8%.
In the energy space, Suncor Energy (SU.TO) moved up 1.5%, Encana Corporation (ECA.TO) gained 1.75%, Vermilion Energy Inc. (VET.TO) advanced by 1.15% and ARC Resources (ARX.TO) gained 2%.
Cenovus Energy Inc. (CVE.TO) ended modestly higher after it reported a loss of $241 million for the third quarter of 2018, as against net profit of $275 million in the corresponding quarter last year.
Among bank stocks, Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) gained about 0.6%, Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) gained nearly 1% and Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) gained 0.3%, while Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) declined by 0.72%.
Air Canada (AC.TO) gained 6.7%. The airliner reported a net profit of $645 million or $2.34 per diluted share for the quarter ended September 30, 2018, as compared with a profit of $1.72 billion or $6.22 per diluted share a year ago.
Dollaramma Inc. (DOL.TO) drifted down by 5.3% following a rating downgrade of the stock. Guyana Goldfields (GUY.TO) added 9.3%.
Asian stocks ended higher on Wednesday as investors digested a raft of economic data, corporate earnings results and weaker-than-expected Chinese manufacturing data.
The European markets rallied, as investors cheered a strong batch of corporate earnings reports. On Wall Street, stocks moved higher, buoyed by some strong earnings reports. The Dow gained 1%, the S&P 500 added 1.1% and the Nasdaq ended 2% up.
In economic news from eurozone, data from Eurostat showed eurozone inflation accelerated to a near six-year high in October largely on energy prices and the unemployment rate was at its lowest since 2008, despite the economy growing at the slowest pace in four years.
Germany’s retail sales monthly growth in September was less than what economists expected, preliminary data from the Federal Statistical Office showed on Wednesday. Retail sales in real terms edged up a calendar and seasonally adjusted 0.1% from August, when sales fell 0.3%, revised from 0.1%.
France’s consumer price inflation was steady in October, after easing in the previous month, preliminary data from the statistical office INSEE showed on Wednesday. In U.K., consumer confidence weakened as expected in October, market research firm GfK said. The consumer sentiment index dropped to -10 in October from -9 in September.
In U.S. economic news, payroll processor ADP’s report showed a significant increase in employment in the U.S. private sector in the month of October. ADP said private employment jumped by 227,000 jobs in October after surging up by a downwardly revised 218,000 jobs in September.
Growth in Chicago-area business activity decelerated for the third straight month in October, according to a report released by MNI Indicators on Wednesday.
In commodities, Crude oil futures for December ended down $0.87, or 1.3%, at $65.31 a barrel, extending losses to a third straight session, after data from Energy Information Administration showed crude stockpiles increased last week.
Gold futures for December ended down $10.30, or 0.8%, at $1,215.00 an ounce, the lowest settlement in three weeks.
Silver futures for December ended lower by $0.180, at $14.282 an ounce and Copper futures for December settled at $2.6590 per pound, losing $0.0050 for the session.
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