The Toronto stock market rose Friday as the price of oil hit nearly $107 (U.S.) a barrel amid concerns that crude supplies could be put at risk if the insurgency in Iraqi continues.
The S&P/TSX composite index added 27.50 points to 14,937.13. The Canadian dollar gained 0.03 of a cent to 92.09 cents (U.S.).
In Iraq, Islamic militants vowed to march on to Baghdad after pushing deep into parts of the country’s Sunni heartland that was previously controlled by U.S. forces. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, an al-Qaeda-inspired group, captured two key cities earlier this week and has now taken over two towns in an ethnically mixed province northeast of the capital.
As a result, concerns are growing over whether the conflict will put at risk the world’s stable oil market. One of the two cities that were invaded, Mosul, lies in an area that is a major gateway for Iraqi oil and exports about three million barrels a day.
The July crude contract on the New York mercantile Exchange gained 14 cents to $106.67 (U.S.) a barrel.
In other commodities, August bullion was down 40 cents to $1,273.6 an ounce, while July copper was up a penny to $3.03 a pound.
U.S. indexes were positive Friday morning as the Dow Jones industrials gained 35.55 points to 16,769.74, the Nasdaq climbed 11.01 points to 4,308.64 and the S&P 500 saw an uptick of 4.32 points to 1,934.43.
There were also a number of acquisition deals for traders to digest.
Montreal’s Amaya Gaming Group Inc. says it’s buying the company that owns PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker for $4.9-billion (U.S.) in an all-cash deal.
Amaya says the transaction will create the world’s largest publicly traded online gaming company with its acquisition of the Oldford Group, parent company of the Rational Group Ltd. Online poker platforms PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker are globally popular brands with more than 85 million registered players on desktop and mobile devices. Shares in Amaya jumped 42 per cent, or $5.86, to $19.94 in mid-morning trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
In the U.S., online discount travel company Priceline is buying a restaurant reservation booking company OpenTable for $2.6-billion.
OpenTable seats more than 15 million diners per month at more than 31,000 restaurants. OpenTable allows users to make free reservations at restaurants through its website and mobile apps. It makes money by charging restaurants fees for the bookings. Users can also read reviews of the restaurants and view menus through the website.
Shares in Priceline fell a little more than one per cent, or $13.85 to $1,212.15 in New York.
Meanwhile, voters in Ontario looked past a slew of Liberal scandals, opting to elect Kathleen Wynne as premier of a majority Liberal government on Thursday.
In other economic news, Statistics Canada says manufacturing sales edged down 0.1 per cent in April to $50.9-billion, the first decrease in four months.
The agency says declines in petroleum and coal products, aerospace product and parts, and machinery industries were largely offset by smaller gains in most other industries.
Economists had expected a gain of 0.4 per cent, according to Thomson Reuters.