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Big Gains for TSX at Open


Equities in Canada’s largest centre opened higher on Thursday, boosted by materials-linked stocks tracking higher prices of metals, while investors digested a slew of data from the United States and Canada.

The TSX Composite continued its upward journey, gathering 195.2 points, to open Thursday at 21,084.60.

The Canadian dollar strengthened 0.25 cents at 74.11 cents U.S.

Focus is also on corporate earnings from gold miner Agnico Eagle Mines and asset manager IGM Financial, among others.

Agnico shares climbed $1.73, or 2.3%, to $63.07, while IGM picked up 46 cents, or 1.3%, to $36.30.

Manulife Financial beat analysts’ estimate for quarterly core earnings on Wednesday. Manulife shares propelled themselves $2.97%, or 6.8%, to $32.74.

Dundee Precious Metals also topped estimates for fourth-quarter adjusted profit. Dundee shares shone brighter 24 cents, or 3%, to $8.22.

On the economic front, January housing starts totaled 223,600, compared to 249,000 in the prior-year month, the Canadian Real Estate Association said MLS sales rose 3.7% between December 2023 and January 2024, building on the 7.9% month-over-month increase recorded the month prior.

StatsCan said manufacturing sales fell 0.7% in December, mainly on lower sales of motor vehicles and chemical products.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange gained 4.61 points to 552.84.

All but two 12 subgroups accelerated out of the starting blocks, gold 3%, materials 2.3%, and energy blasting ahead 1.8%.

The two laggards proved to be industrials and information technology, each fading 0.2%.

ON WALLSTREET

The S&P 500 rose slightly Thursday as Wall Street tries to claw back this week’s losses. However, gains were kept in check by weaker-than-expected U.S. retail sales data.

The Dow Jones Industrials leaped 185.77 points at 38,610.04.

The much-broader index took on 12.44 points to 5,013.06.

The NASDAQ index tailed off 7.13 points to 15,852.02.

Earnings season continued to paint a muddled picture of corporate America. Tripadvisor jumped 8% after beating estimates on the top and
bottom lines.

On the other hand, Cisco shares were down 3% after the tech company announced layoffs and weak forward sales projections. Deere stock dropped more than 4%, after the agricultural machinery manufacturer lowered guidance for its full-year net income guidance. Shares of Alphabet slid nearly 3%.

Investors received another update about the state of the U.S. economy on Thursday, with January retail sales plunging 0.8%, much more than the 0.3% decline economists polled by Dow Jones had expected. This raised some concern about the strength of the U.S. consumer under the weight of sticky inflation and high interest rates, and sent Treasury yields down.

Prices for the 10-year Treasury surged, lowering yields to 4.21% from Wednesday’s 4.27%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices climbed 61 cents to $77.25 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices jumped $11.20 to $2,015.50.



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