Canada’s main stock market in Toronto finished marginally higher on Wednesday, as gains in mining and energy stocks outpaced declines in utilities and food stocks.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s benchmark Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite ticked up 16.43 points, or 0.11 percent, to close the trading day at 15,402.39 points. Half of the ten sub-groups finished the session up.
The Materials and Energy groups had the biggest impact on the day, rising 0.97 percent and 0.37 percent, respectively.
The TSX Materials group, which consist of producers of gold, precious metals, and raw materials, rose despite the price of gold and silver finishing slightly down.
The price for an ounce of gold faded 70 cents to close at 1,209.60 U.S. dollars, while the same weight of silver gave up 3 cents to finish the session at 17.51 U.S. dollars.
Vancouver-based B2Gold Corp. was the most actively traded on the day at nearly 13.4 million shares. The stock closed at 4.14 Canadian dollars (3.17 U.S. dollars), a 4.81 percent jump. Miners Ivanhoe Mines Ltd. and Kirkland Gold Ltd. also had a strong day, rising 4.08 percent and 4.18 percent, respectively.
Making news outside of the ten groups was uranium-supplier Cameco Corporation, whose shares plunged 11.29 percent to 14.70 Canadian dollars (11.27 U.S. dollars) after Japanese client Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. (TEPCO) said it would exercise terminate their contract due to the Mar. 2011 nuclear disaster in Fukushima.
The TEPCO agreement was expected to last until 2028 and worth approximately 1.3 billion Canadian dollars (about one billion U.S. dollars). The 855,000 pounds that Cameco was set to deliver to the Japanese firm this year represented nearly six percent of their forecasted revenue.
The Energy group finished higher for a second straight day, as the prices of crude oil and natural gas both saw upticks. Brent crude oil for April delivery gained 1.67 percent to close the day at 56.56 U.S. dollars a barrel, while March natural gas on the New York Mercantile Exchange rose 1.64 percent to 3.168 U.S. dollars per million British thermal units.
As a result, shares of Calgary-based energy firms Baytex Energy Corp. and Suncor Energy Inc. saw respective gains of 0.58 percent and 0.42 percent. Outperforming them was Spartan Energy Corp., whose shares climbed 3.51 percent to close the session at 2.95 Canadian dollars (2.26 U.S. dollars).
Other groups to finish the day higher included: Consumer Discretionary (0.41 percent), Industrials (0.15 percent), and Financials (0.10 percent).
The Consumer Discretionary group, which consists of producers of non-essentials goods such as automobiles, apparel and entertainment, rose as auto parts makers Martinrea International Inc. and Magna International Inc. saw shares rise 1.58 percent and 0.75 percent, respectively.
Groups that finished that did not finish Wednesday in positive territory were: Utilities (0.76 percent), Consumer Staples (0.73 percent), Health Care (0.39 percent), Information Technology (0.14 percent), and Telecommunications (no change).
The TSX Consumer Staples group, which consists of companies in the food industry, was weighed down by two of Canada’ s largest supermarkets. Montreal-based Metro Inc. saw shares fade 0.96 percent to 39.15 Canadian dollars (30.00 U.S. dollars), while Ontario-based Loblaw Companies Limited slipped 0.83 percent to 67.82 Canadian dollars (51.98 U.S. dollars) a share.
The Telecommunications group managed to stay afloat despite BCE. Inc. shares falling 0.46 percent to 58.39 Canadian dollars (44.75 U.S. dollars) after Bell Media, one of its subsidiaries that consist of radio stations and television networks, announced on Tuesday that they would be cutting an unspecific number of jobs.
The Canadian dollar slipped 0.17 cents to close the day at 0.7664 U.S. dollars. Enditem.