Stocks broadly higher as commodities gain
Commodity prices gained Friday, boosting the materials and energy sectors of the main TSX index, although energy slipped in later trading.
Materials remained high though to lead the gains for the index with a 1.9 per cent jump, while consumer staples and IT also posted strong gains. Only consumer discretionary was lower, but even that group was only off by 0.10 per cent.
Wall Street was essentially flat while European markets were lower and Asian bourses closed mixed. Regional earnings and geopolitics remained dominant issues.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index closed up 79.66 (0.51 per cent)
The Dow Jones closed down 40.82 (0.19 per cent)
Oil is trending higher ($51.71, WTI $49.17 at 4.45pm)
Gold is trending higher (1269.60 at 4.45pm)
The loonie is valued at U$0.7322
Economy flat in February but outlook for Q1 is positive
There was little change in Canada’s GDP in February following growth in the previous three months. However, analysts remain upbeat that the first quarter of 2017 will still end higher than a year earlier.
Statistics Canada said Friday that service industries gained 0.2 per cent but goods-producing industries dropped 0.3 per cent.
There were notable gains for real estate, construction, and finance & insurance.
Home Capital customers withdrew $760 million in 48 hours
Home Capital customers withdrew $290 million of deposits from High Interest Savings Accounts Thursday but that was less than the $472 million they took out the previous day.
The under-pressure lender said that the balance of HISA deposits was expected to be $521 million on Friday after settling Thursday’s transactions.
Meanwhile, due to a potential conflict of interest, Home Capital director Jim Keohane stepped down from his role as CEO of HOOPP, the investor that is providing Home Capital’s Home Trust with a $2 billion line of credit.