March 4, 2020 / 12:33 PM / in 3 months

Toronto stocks rise on commodity gains; BoC cuts interest rate

(Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index rose on Wednesday, lifted by gains in oil and metal stocks, meanwhile Bank of Canada cut interest rate to mitigate the economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak.

FILE PHOTO: The Art Deco facade of the original Toronto Stock Exchange building is seen on Bay Street in Toronto, Ontario, Canada January 23, 2019. REUTERS/Chris Helgren/File Photo

** At 10:01 a.m. ET (1501 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 170.65 points, or 1.04%, at 16,594.27.

** The Bank of Canada cut its benchmark interest rate to 1.25% from 1.75% on Wednesday in the face of a fast-spreading coronavirus outbreak, and said it was prepared to cut again if needed to support economic growth.

** The energy sector climbed 0.6% as oil prices climbed in anticipation of further output cuts. [O/R]

** The materials sector, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, added 0.2% as gold and copper prices held recent gains. [GOL/] [MET/L]

** On the TSX, 185 issues were higher, while 45 issues declined for a 4.11-to-1 ratio favoring gainers, with 36.86 million shares traded.

** The largest percentage gainers on the TSX were Semafo Inc, which jumped 5.6%, and Freehold Royalties, which rose 5.2%.

** Winpak Ltd fell 8%, the most on the TSX, after its fourth-quarter earnings missed estimates. The second biggest decliner was Mag Silver Corp, down 3.6% after BMO cut the stock’s target price.

** The most heavily traded shares by volume were Sun Life Finl, Bombardier B and Barrick Gold.

** The TSX posted four new 52-week highs, and three new lows.

** Across all Canadian issues, there were 22 new 52-week highs and 9 new lows, with total volume of 59.45 million shares.

Reporting by Ambar Warrick in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel and Shinjini Ganguli

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