Canada Stocks Up Slightly as Corporate Earnings Kick Into Gear

Updated on
  • Nation’s equities best performing developed market this year
  • Valeant declines as cheaper treatment announced by Imprimis

TSX Movers: Teck Resources, New Flyer, DH Corp

Canadian stocks edged higher in light trading as investors assessed a batch of earnings reports, while Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. slipped after a competitor released a cheaper treatment.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index rose 0.1 percent to 14,596.52 at 4 p.m. in Toronto, rebounding from a 1.1 percent drop last week. Trading volume was 28 percent lower than the 30-day average. The index is up 12 percent this year, making it the top performing developed equity market in the world, ahead of New Zealand and the U.K.

Five of the 11 industries in the Canadian equities benchmark edged higher, led by a 0.9 percent gain among raw-materials producers. Barrick Gold Corp. and Goldcorp Inc. gained at least 1.2 percent, rebounding from a rout last week as gold futures tumbled amid speculation that U.S. interest rates will soon rise, which curbs the appeal of the metals that don’t pay interest. There’s a 68 percent chance that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates December, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Financial services gained 0.1 percent, led by Royal Bank of Canada, which is trading at its highest level since December 2014. Toronto-Dominion Bank rose 0.3 percent to its highest level in more than a month.

Energy producers fell less than 0.1 percent, as oil dropped to a one-week low after OPEC members added supply and U.S. producers increased drilling. The S&P/TSX Energy index remains 25 percent higher this year and near the highest level since June 2015.

Health care dropped more than 2 percent, after the sector’s largest company, Valeant, slumped 3.6 percent to the lowest level in more than two months. Valeant declined after Imprimis Pharmaceuticals Inc. announced its availability of a cheaper lead poisoning treatment.

Canadian stock valuations remain 16 percent higher than their U.S. peers, with the S&P/TSX carrying a price-to-earnings ratio of 23.3 compared with 20.1 for the the S&P 500 Index, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The telecommunications sector fell 0.3 percent, after Rogers Communications Inc. announced Guy Laurence resigned as president and chief executive officer. The company named former Telus Corp. Chief Executive Officer Joseph Natale to succeed Laurence. Rogers’ stock has gained 14 percent this year, compared with a 12 percent increase in the S&P/TSX Composite Index.