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Stocks Show Strength as Materials Grow



Canada’s main stock index rose on Thursday boosted by materials stocks, while investors repriced their expectations of the first rate cut to May by the U.S. Federal Reserve.

Materials stocks were the top gainers on the index, rising 1.5%, helped by Methanex Corp. which rose $2.14, or 3.6%, to $61.76 after it beat analysts’ estimates for the fourth quarter.

The TSX Composite leaped 120.58 points to move into Thursday afternoon to 21,142.46.

The Canadian dollar improved 0.25 cents at 74.68 cents U.S.

In corporate news, Canada Goose climbed 29 cents, or 1.8%, to $16.41 after it forecast its fourth-quarter revenue above analysts’ estimates.

A top U.S. bank regulator on Wednesday imposed a $65-million fine on the Royal Bank of Canada’s American unit, City National Bank, over gaps in the lender’s risk management and internal controls. RBC shares in Toronto dropped 38 cents to $130.83.

On the economic docket, the Markit Manufacturing PMI in Canada came in at 48.3 points in January compared to 45.4 in December.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange zoomed 9.09 points, or 1.7%, as morning became afternoon to 559.45.

All but three of the 12 subgroups were higher, with gold soaring 3.5%, materials stronger 2.3%, and consumer discretionary stocks, acquiring 0.7%.

The three laggards were information technology, down 1.1%, while financials and real-estate each lost 0.4%.

ON WALLSTREET

The S&P 500 rose Thursday following a dismal day for the major averages after the Federal Reserve held steady on rates but signaled that a March cut is unlikely.

The Dow Jones Industrials soared 214.37 points to 38,364.37.

The S&P 500 index recouped 39.49 points to 4,885,14.

The NASDAQ index climbed 129.33 points to 15,293.34.

Investors also parsed a fresh batch of quarterly earnings. Shares of conglomerate Honeywell sank nearly 4% after fourth-quarter revenue results missed analyst forecasts. Stock in chipmaker Qualcomm pulled back 4% after lower-than-expected revenue guidance overshadowed a first-quarter earnings beat.

Wall Street is coming off a poor session. The Dow fell 317 points, or 0.8%, posting its worst day since December. The S&P 500 slid 1.6% on Wednesday in its worst day since September. The NASDAQ Composite lost 2.2%, its worst session since October.

Those losses come after Fed Chair Jerome Powell in his post-meeting conference discouraged investor hopes for a rate cut as soon as March, sending equities tumbling.

Prices for the 10-year Treasury strengthened, lowering yields to 3.85% from Wednesday’s 3.93%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices rebounded 69 cents to $76.54 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices regrouped $10.90 to $2,078.30.



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