The Toronto stock market was slightly higher Wednesday amid a big acquisition by Encana and a flood of corporate earnings.
The S&P/TSX composite index rose 9.15 points to 14,621.44.
The Canadian dollar was down 0.17 of a cent to 91.75 cents (U.S.).
Encana Corp. shares were up $1.19 or 4.85 per cent to $25.75 after it announced at deal to roughly double its oil production with a $3.1-billion acquisition of oil-producing properties in the Eagle Ford shale formation in south Texas.
The deal with Freeport-McMoRan covers property which produced about 53,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day in the first quarter of 2014.
Meanwhile, U.S. markets advanced ahead of testimony by U.S. Federal Reserve chairwoman Janet Yellen before the U.S. Senate Budget Committee.
The Dow Jones industrials gained 49.26 points to 16,450.28, the Nasdaq fell 11.83 points to 4,068.93, and the S&P 500 index was ahead 3.8 points to 1,871.52.
Traders will look to Yellen’s take on the economy after data released last week showed a small increase in gross domestic product during the quarter.
However, the there is speculation now that the economy contracted during the January-March period, reflecting severe winter weather.
At the same time, other data showed job creation coming in much stronger than expected while the jobless rate fell below 6.5 per cent, which had been the former target for the central bank to consider moving short-term rates higher.
It was another heavy day for earnings from corporate Canada as pipeline company Enbridge Inc. posted a quarterly profit of $390-million or 47 cents per diluted share compared with a profit of $250-million or 31 cents per diluted share a year ago. Revenue totalled $10.52-billion, up from $7.9-billion in the first three months of 2013. Ex-items, earnings came in at 60 cents, three cents ahead of estimates. Its shares added six cents to $53.05.
Talisman Energy shares climbed 10 cents to $11.23 as quarterly net income was $491-million, or 47 cents per share, compared to a net loss of $213-million or 21 cents per share in the first quarter last year.
Tim Hortons Inc. earned $90.9-million or 66 cents per share, up from $86.2-million or 56 cents per share in the same quarter of 2013. However, the results fell short of the average analyst estimate compiled by Thomson Reuters of 68 cents per share. Its shares dipped 30 cents to $59.38.
And Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. said Wednesday that chief executive Hunter Harrison has agreed to a one-year contract extension that will keep him at the railway until 2017. CP shares edged up 29 cents to $170.08.
On the commodity markets, June crude on the New York Mercantile Exchange gained 99 cents to $100.49 (U.S.) a barrel and the energy sector gained 0.5 per cent.
The base metals sector was down 0.47 per cent as June copper slipped four cents to $3.02 a pound.
June gold faded $4.50 to $1,304.10 an ounce and the gold sector dropped 0.6 per cent.
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