Canadian market surges with largest gain in six weeks

BY  | FROM  | 2017-04-18 13:54

After closing last week at a two-week low, Canada's main stock market bounced back with its biggest single-day jump since March 1, as Financial and Energy sectors had the biggest impact on the session.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's benchmark Standard & Poor's/TSX Composite rose 149.41 points, or 0.96 percent to begin the week at 15,684.8 points. Nine of the ten sub-groups finished the trading day ahead.

Canadian stocks thrived on Monday after the Chinese government reported a 6.9 percent growth in GDP in the first quarter of the year, surpassing analyst expectations and the 6.5 percent target rate for the year. As a result, the TSX Financial group had the biggest percentage gain on the day, advancing 1.42 percent.

All of Canada's four largest banks and two largest insurance firms finished the session higher. No. 2 ranked Toronto-Dominion Bank led the way with a 2.05 percent jump to close at 66.20 Canadian dollars (49.72 U.S. dollars), No. 1 ranked Royal Bank of Canada closed the day at 95.92 Canadian dollars (72.04 U.S. dollars), a 1.36 percent jump. Bank of Nova Scotia and Bank of Montreal rounded out the list of banks with ascents of 1.51 percent and 1.17 percent, each.

Manulife Financial Corporation, the largest insurance firm in the country closed 1.50 percent higher, while Sun Life Financial Inc. ended the session at 47.22 Canadian dollars (35.46 U.S. dollars), a 1.14 percent increase.

The TSX Energy group also finish strong, gaining 1.22 percent despite both crude oil and natural gas prices closing lower. Brent for June delivery fell 0.68 percent to 55.36 U.S. dollars a barrel, while May natural gas futures on the on the New York Mercantile Exchange slipped 2.01 percent to 3.162 U.S. dollars per million British thermal units.

Calgary-based Seven Generations Energy Ltd and ACR Resources Ltd led the group with gains of 2.26 percent and 1.75 percent, respectively. Meanwhile, Suncor Energy Inc, the largest producer of crude oil in the country, saw shares rise 1.40 percent to settle at 41.26 Canadian dollars (30.99 U.S. dollars).

The remaining groups to close the day ahead were: Consumer Staples (1.19 percent), Industrials (1.01 percent), Consumer Discretionary (0.96 percent), Information Technology (0.85 percent), Telecommunications (0.72 percent), Utilities (0.42 percent), and Materials (0.02 percent).

The TSX Consumer Staples group, which is made of firms in the food industry, received a lift from supermarket retailers. Nova Scotia-based Empire Company Limited, which owns supermarket chain Sobey' s, led the group with a 2.34 percent jump. Grocery chain Loblaws Companies Limited and convenient store chain Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc also had an impact, gaining of 1.55 percent and 1.53 percent, apiece.

The lone laggard group on Monday was Health Care, slipping 0.46 percent as a pair of medical marijuana distributors contributed to the group's demise. Ontario-based Aphria Inc. and Canopy Growth Corporation shares declined 5.13 percent and 3.22 percent, respectively despite the federal government introducing a bill last Thursday to legalize recreational use of the drug by July 2018.

Quebec-based drugmaker ProMetic Life Sciences also had an impact, falling 1.92 percent to 2.04 Canadian dollars (1.53 U.S. dollars) a share.

The Canadian dollar inched up 0.07 cents to close the day at 0.7510 U.S. dollars.

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