Equities in Canada’s largest market firmed on Thursday, supported by a rise in gold prices as the dollar slipped and optimism grew over a fresh U.S. stimulus package.
The TSX rose 44.23 points to kick off Thursday at 17,402.44
The Canadian dollar edged up 0.01 cents to 77.51 cents U.S.
Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce reported a better-than-expected fourth-quarter profit on lower bad loan provisions. CIBC shares gained 26 cents to $110.32.
National Bank of Canada cut the target price on Eldorado Gold to $21.00 from $22.00. Eldorado dipped 34 cents, or 2%, to $16.37.
RBC cut the rating on National Bank of Canada to sector perform from outperform. National shares fell 30 cents to $72.29.
The TSX Venture Exchange gained 2.7 points to 768.67.
Eight of the 12 TSX subgroups were higher at Thursday’s open, led by communications, up 1%, while information technology and industrials advanced 0.8% each.
The four laggards were weighed most by gold, down 1.6%, materials, fading 0.8%, and health-care, ailing 0.7%.
U.S. stocks held steady on Thursday following a record high for the S&P 500, as investors monitored progress on a stimulus deal as well as new economic data.
The Dow Jones Industrials gained 115.09 points to 29,998.88, supported by a 4% jump in Boeing shares
The S&P 500 picked up 8.33 points on top of Wednesday’s closing high, to 3,677.34.
The NASDAQ regained 75.29 points to 12,423.85, a fresh all-time high.
First-time claims for unemployment insurance totaled 712,000 last week, lower than an estimate of 780,000 from economists surveyed by Dow Jones. Jobless claims also fell for the first time in three weeks as the labor market showed resilience even in the face of a worsening pandemic.
The U.S. Labor Department is set to release its closely watched jobs report for November on Friday. The U.S. economy is expected to add 440,000 jobs while the unemployment rate is estimated to decrease to 6.7%, according to Dow Jones.
On Capitol Hill, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer issued a joint statement calling on Republicans to work with them on another round of coronavirus relief funding, using a bipartisan proposal from Senate moderates as a starting point.
On Wednesday, the U.K. became the first country to grant emergency approval to the COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech.
Regulators in the U.S. are expected to make determinations on that vaccine and a similar vaccine from Moderna later this month, possibly allowing distribution to begin before the start of 2021.
Prices for the 10-Year Treasury gained ground, lowering yields to 0.93% from Wednesday’s 0.94%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.
Oil prices doffed 15 cents to $45.18 U.S. a barrel.
Gold prices improved $5.50 to $1,833.10