TSX ends session with narrow gains
The main index of the Toronto Stock Exchange closed with slim gains Thursday as oil prices and bank results helped lift stocks.
Most of the world’s stocks shared higher sentiment with Wall Street, Europe and most of the Asian indexes all closing higher; China was the notable loser of the day with a drop of more than 6 per cent.
Oil prices moved higher on news that OPEC and Russia will meet to talk about freezing output at January levels.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index closed up 13.33 (0.10 per cent)
The Dow Jones closed up 212.3 (1.29 per cent)
Oil is trending higher (Brent $35.16, WTI $33.03 at 4.05pm)
Gold is trending lower (1236.00 at 4.05pm)
The loonie is valued at U$0.7380
CIBC, TD report growth
Two more of Canada’s big banks reported their results Thursday and both showed improvement. CIBC’s adjusted profit was up 7.6 per cent. Its quarterly profits were $982 million. The bank’s dividend was raised by 3 cents to $1.18 per share. Meanwhile, TD’s adjusted profit was up 6 per cent. Quarterly profit was $2.2 billion with an extra 4 cents added to its dividend to 55 cents per share. Both banks said they have set aside additional funds to cover bad loans.
Canadian corporations made less profit in Q4
Fourth quarter profit at Canada’s corporations fell 3.1 per cent from the previous quarter according to Statistics Canada data. Corporations earned a combined $77.4 billion with the financial sector dropping $2.4 billion and non-profits down $104 million. On a year-over-year basis, overall operating profits for Canadian corporations decreased 3.4 per cent compared with the fourth quarter of 2014.
Ottawa should give more funding to energy firms says IEA
The International Energy Agency says that Canada’s federal government should provide more funding to the energy sector for research and development. Funding should be made available for areas such as clean energy technology. The agency highlighted the importance for Canada of adapting to the lower prices for oil and natural gas which is having a negative impact on the economy.
Wages were up almost 1 per cent in December
Statistics Canada reported Thursday that non-farm payroll employees were paid an average of $959 a week in December, up 0.1 per cent from November and 1.7 per cent more than December 2014. Average working hours increased to 33.2 from 32.9 in November and 32.0 hours in December 2014. Average weekly earnings increased in 5 of the 10 largest industrial sectors, led by administrative and support services, as well as manufacturing. At the same time, earnings declined in construction.