The Toronto stock market advanced Wednesday amid positive earnings news and data showing much stronger than expected U.S. economic growth.
The S&P/TSX composite index ran up 62.06 points to 15,508.61 as the U.S. gross domestic product grew by a better-than-expected annual pace of four per cent in the second quarter.
The contraction of the economy in the January-March period because of severe winter weather was also revised to 2.1 per cent from 2.9 per cent.
The Canadian dollar was off 0.27 of a cent to 91.82 cents (U.S.) a day before Statistics Canada releases economic growth figures for May.
U.S. markets were higher with the Dow Jones industrials up 56.18 points to 16,968.29, the Nasdaq gained 30.1 points to 4,472.8 and the S&P 500 index climbed 7.64 points to 1,977.59.
Traders also took in some positive employment news two days before the release of the American government’s employment report for July. Payroll firm ADP reported that 218,000 jobs were created in the private sector during the month. Analysts looked for the U.S. government report to show that about 230,000 jobs were created during July.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Federal Reserve is expected to make its scheduled announcement on interest rates at 2 p.m. EDT.
Traders will look for any hint that the central bank could start to hike rates sooner than anticipated. Markets generally expect the Fed to start hiking rates away from near zero in mid-2015.
On the earnings front, Cenovus Energy Inc. shares gained 98 cents to $33.79 (Canadian) as the company more than tripled its second-quarter net earnings to $615-million or 81 cents per share as it benefited from increased oil production and higher commodity prices.
Meanwhile, shares of information technology services company CGI Inc. climbed 71 cents to $39.16 after it posted a third-quarter profit of $225.1-million, or 71 cents per share, up 26 per cent. Revenue was up 3.9 per cent to $2.7-billion.
And media company Torstar Corp. reported net income of $19.7-million or 25 cents per share, compared with $18-million, or 23 cents per share a year ago. Consolidated operating revenue fell seven per cent to $225.6-million from $243.6-million a year earlier. Torstar shares dipped nine cents to $8.17.
The TSX energy sector was up 0.8 per cent as September crude gained 49 cents to $101.46 (U.S.).
September copper was ahead two cents at $3.24 a pound and the base metals sector was ahead 0.55 per cent.
August bullion was off $2.80 to $1,295.50 an ounce.
The gold sector was the leading decliner, down 0.65 per cent as investors get set to take in earnings later in the day from Barrick Gold, Yamana Gold and Agnico Eagle Mines after the close of trading.