CANADA STOCKS-TSX shrugs off weak oil, gold prices on solid earnings

Thu Jul 24, 2014 4:47pm EDT
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* TSX up 0.07 point, at 15,394.45
    * Potash Corp, Teck Resources, Rogers Comms gain after

 (Adds strategist comment, details, updates prices to close)
    By Alastair Sharp
    TORONTO, July 24 (Reuters) - Decent earnings reports from
several resource stocks and a major telecom company helped
Canada's main stock index keep intact a string of all-time highs
on Thursday, despite slips in oil and gold prices weighing on
the market.
    With the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 hitting record highs in each of the past three days,
investors are watching to see whether second-quarter earnings
would prompt fresh highs or a retrenchment.
    "We've seen solid numbers posted by the likes of Potash,
Teck, and Rogers," said Elvis Picardo, a strategist at Global
Securities in Vancouver. "Today's action is underpinned by
earnings, and that's a reassuring sign because ultimately it is
earnings that drive the market." 
    Diversified miner Teck Resources added 1.3 percent
to C$25.94 after just beating earnings estimates and saying
global steel-making production needs to be cut to deal with
oversupply in the market. 
    Fertilizer producer Potash Corp of Saskatchewan 
reported a smaller-than-expected slip in profit and upped its
outlook. Its stock gained 0.3 percent, to
    Rogers Communications Inc protected its wireless
margins at the expense of subscriber growth as the country's
largest wireless provider refreshes its business strategy
. Its stock gained 1.1 percent to C$42.88.
    But those gains were neutralized by slips in railway stocks
and gold miners, the latter hurt by the lowest bullion prices in
a month. 
    All told, the Toronto stock market's benchmark index was up
just 0.07 point, at 15,394.45. Six of its 10 subgroups ended
    The TSX index has traded at record levels for much of July
and touched a new high of 15,421.39 during the day. But analysts
note the strong performance has been on light summer volumes,
which can increase volatility.
    "We don't see big volumes. You don't see the trend," said
John Ing, president of Maison Placements Canada. "What we may
see is we're bumping up to the highs, and frankly it's
unsustainable. The market is richly valued right now."
    Investors could quickly turn risk-averse if geopolitical
tensions dramatically worsen in either Ukraine or the Middle
East, with a disproportionate effect on cyclical sectors such as
energy and materials, Global's Picardo said.
    Sliding precious metals prices yanked gold miners lower,
with Barrick Gold Corp falling 2.3 percent to C$19.66.
    Talisman Energy dropped 1.8 percent, to C$11.76, as
doubts grew about whether Spain's Repsol would be interested in
buying all of Canada's fifth-largest petroleum company.
    TransCanada Corp added 0.9 percent to C$56.08 a day
after the Alberta government approved construction of an C$800
million pipeline.     
    ($1=$1.07 Canadian)

 (Additional reporting by Cameron French; Editing by Chizu
Nomiyama,; Peter Galloway and James Dalgleish)