Stocks Climb in First Hour Thursday



Canada’s main stock index opened higher on Thursday, boosted by consumer discretionary and technology stocks, while investors awaited more clues on the timing of interest rate cuts by the Federal Reserve in the United States.

The TSX Composite picked up 81.15 points to begin Thursday at 22,193.61.

The Canadian dollar increased in price 0.23 cents at 74.17 cents U.S.

BlackBerry reported a surprise profit for the fourth quarter on Wednesday, helped by higher demand for its cybersecurity services. Its shares gained two dollars, or 3.6%, in early trading to $57.90.

On the economic front, In February, exports increased 5.8%, while imports rose 4.6%. As a result, Canada’s merchandise trade surplus with the world widened from $608 million in January to $1.4 billion in February.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange stepped back 1.48 points to open Thursday at 583.40.

All but three of the 12 TSX subgroups were higher in the first hour, with consumer discretionary stocks soaring 1.6%, health-care haler by 1%, and financials richer 0.9%.

The three laggards were gold, sliding 0.8%, while materials dropped 0.4%, and energy handed back 0.2%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks opened higher on Thursday as investors attempted a recovery from this week’s consecutive losing sessions for the Dow Jones Industrials.

The 30-stock index jumped 171.55 points to 39,298.69.

The S&P 500 prospered 36.19 points to 5,247.68.

The NASDAQ rocketed 134.6 points to 16,412.06.

Megacap technology stocks bounced back on Thursday, with Nvidia shares adding 1.5% and Meta gaining more than 3%. Shares of Microsoft gained 1.3%. Levi Strauss & Co shares popped 15.2% after the retailer topped first-quarter expectations.

According to data released Thursday, initial jobless claims increased more than expected last week, hitting their highest level since late January. Additional data posted by the Commerce Department reflected an increased in the trade deficit to $68.9 billion in February, slightly higher than the Dow Jones estimate.

Investors are now awaiting Friday for the release of March’s nonfarm payrolls.

Prices for the 10-year Treasury gained a bit of ground, lowering yields to 4.34% from Wednesday’s 4.35%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices subsided 15 cents at $85.28 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices gave up $1.30 to $2,313.70 U.S. an ounce.



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