A solid earnings report from oilsands giant Suncor Energy helped push the Toronto stock market higher Tuesday.
The S&P/TSX composite index climbed 32.97 points to 14,563.88.
Suncor posted operating earnings of $1.79-billion, or $1.22 per share, widely beating the average analyst expectation of 93 cents, according to estimates compiled by Thomson Reuters. Operating revenues, net of royalties, were $10.3-billion, up from $9.8-billion a year earlier and its shares were up $1.42 or 3.43 per cent to $42.76.
The Canadian dollar was up 0.44 of a cent to 91.14 cents (U.S.).
New York indexes advanced while data showed that U.S. home price gains cooled in February for the third month in a row, as harsh winter weather and high buying costs have slowed sales.
The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index rose 12.9 per cent in February compared with 12 months earlier. While healthy, that is down from a 13.2 per cent gain in January.
The Dow Jones industrials were up 76.42 points to 16,525.16 ahead of the latest read on consumer confidence coming out later in the morning.
The Nasdaq gained 17.98 points to 4,092.38 and the S&P 500 index rose 7.85 points to 1,877.28.
Investors also looked to the U.S. Federal Reserve, which wraps up its two-day meeting Wednesday. Policy makers are expected to further trim the central bank’s bond-buying program and provide further insight into the state of the world’s biggest economy.
Traders also look for further indications of when the Fed might start to raise short-term interest rates, which have been near zero since the financial crisis.
Prices were mixed on the commodity markets with June crude in New York up $1.03 to $101.87 (U.S.) a barrel. The energy sector rose 1.2 per cent ahead of earnings out this week from other major energy companies.
Industrials were the biggest TSX weight, led by losses in the two big railroads. Canadian Pacific lost $5.13 to $165.71 (Canadian).
July copper was down two cents to $3.08 (U.S.) and the base metals sector drifted 0.15 per cent lower.
Bullion prices were lower after the Pentagon said Russia’s defence chief has assured U.S. Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel that Russia will not invade Ukraine.
Gold fell $3.70 to $1,295.30 an ounce and the sector was off 0.11 per cent.
In other corporate developments, Quebecor Inc. shares were 29 cents lower to $26.33 (Canadian) with the announcement that its president and chief executive is retiring. Robert Depatie, who was promoted to the post last May when Pierre Karl Peladeau stepped down, announced Monday that he was retiring for health reasons.
Power generation company TransAlta handed in net earnings of $49-million, or 18 cents per share, up $60-million from a net loss of $11-million, or four cents per share, in the same period last year. Revenues were at $775-million, up from $540-million year-over-year. Its shares gained 11 cents to $51.15.
Uranium miner Cameco earned $131-million or 33 cents a share in its latest quarter, boosted by the sale of its stake in Bruce Power Limited Partnership. Revenue slipped to $419-million from $444-million a year ago. Excluding one-time items, the company earned $36-million or nine cents per share compared with $27-million or seven cents per share a year ago and its shares fell 82 cents to $23.31.