Energy stocks lead sectoral gains
Canada July retail sales up 0.3% on food
TSX up 0.4%
By Khushi Singh
Sept 22 (Reuters) – Canada’s main stock index rose on Friday, snapping a four-day losing streak, as a rise in commodity prices helped stocks rebound from TSX’s biggest decline in one year in the previous session, while domestic retail sales for July came in softer than expected.
At 11:01 a.m. ET (1501 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 75.15 points, or 0.38%, at 19,866.77.
The benchmark index was set for its worst weekly performance in over six months after a hawkish stance on interest rates from the Bank of Canada and U.S. Federal Reserve shook investor confidence earlier this week.
Energy shares led the gains among sectors, rising 0.7% as oil prices edged up after Russia’s fuel export ban offset demand worries.
The materials sector added 0.7%, with gold prices on track to snap a three-day losing streak while copper prices firmed above their weakest level in nearly four months.
“There is going to be a huge amount of emphasis now on the economic data, which is going be a massive driver now for the next six weeks in the run-up to the next (central bank) meetings,” said Craig Erlam, senior markets analyst at OANDA.
Canadian retail sales grew by 0.3% in July from a 0.1% rise in June on the back of increased sales at food and beverage retailers and general merchandise stores. Analysts surveyed by Reuters had expected an increase of 0.4%.
Meanwhile, the S&P Global Manufacturing and Services Purchasing Managers’ Index in the U.S. showed little change in U.S. business activity in September.
On the company front, Stelco Holdings was up 0.2% after Bloomberg News reported that Canada’s biggest steelmaker is pursuing a bid for U.S. Steel Corp. (Reporting by Khushi Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Tasim Zahid)