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(FRANK GUNN/THE CANADIAN PRESS)
(FRANK GUNN/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

At the open: TSX higher after several earnings beats Add to ...

The Toronto stock market was higher Thursday with traders encouraged by strong manufacturing data from China and earnings reports that beat expectations.

The S&P/TSX composite index was ahead 27.39 points to 13,270.71.

The Canadian dollar was down 0.25 of a cent to 96.05 cents US after falling almost nine-tenths of a cent Wednesday after the Bank of Canada indicated that interest rates hikes are even further away than thought while revising downward its economic forecast through 2015.

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New York markets were mainly higher amid solid earnings from automaker Ford with the Dow Jones industrials ahead 33.2 points to 15,446.53, the Nasdaq gained 1.54 points to 3,908.61 and the S&P 500 index dipped 0.59 of a point to 1,745.79.

Buyers were encouraged by an HSBC survey showing that China’s manufacturing activity was higher than expected in October.

HSBC’s main index rose to a seven-month high of 50.9 points from 50.2 per cent in September — anything above 50 indicates expansion. The consensus in markets was for a more modest rise to 50.4.

The manufacturing data was released a day after markets were pressured by concerns over the country’s banking sector, mainly due to a hot real estate market, that could prompt a tightening in monetary policy.

The Chinese data failed to boost commodity prices.

But the base metals sector ran up 2.1 per cent even as copper fell two cents at US$3.25 after sliding seven cents Wednesday.

Teck Resources Ltd. (TSX:TCK.B) shares were ahead $1.74 to $31.15 as the miner reported a third quarter adjusted profit of $252 million, or 44 cents per share, which was far better than analyst estimates but down sharply from the same time last year as prices for all of its principal products have fallen. Coal prices fell 28 per cent in the third quarter compared to a year ago, while copper prices slid eight per cent.

Bullion rose with the December contract ahead $6.20 to US$1,340.2 an ounce and the gold sector gained 3.4 per cent.

Goldcorp Inc. (TSX:G) advanced 91 cents to C$27.48 as the company posted net earnings of US$5 million, down from US$498 million in the same period last year, while revenue dropped to US$929 million from US$1.3 billion. That amounted to a penny per share for Goldcorp shareholders, compared with 61 cents per share last year. Costs were $992 per ounce of gold, with an average realized gold price for the quarter of $1,339 per ounce compared to $1,685 per ounce during the year-ago quarter.

December crude on the New York Mercantile Exchange down 65 cents to US$96.21 a barrel after sliding $1.44 Wednesday on data showing a much higher than expected buildup in U.S. inventories last week.

Cenovus Energy Inc. (TSX:CVE) reports its third-quarter operating earnings were $313 million, or 41 cents per share, missing estimates of 48 cents a share. The company says its refinery operations were hampered by low prices but operating cash flow from oil production was up 40 per cent to $915 million, thanks to higher output and higher realized prices. Its shares rose nine cents to C$30.78.

Elsewhere on the earnings front, Potash Corp. (TSX:POT) is reporting third-quarter earnings of 41 cents per share on $356 million in net earnings, down from $645 million a year ago as a result of weaker prices and lower potash sales volumes. PotashCorp has revised its 2013 potash gross margin forecast range to $1.5 billion-$1.7 billion on expected shipments of 8 million and 8.4 million tonnes and its shares fell $1.22 to $31.71.

Rogers Communications’ (TSX:RCI.B) third-quarter adjusted net income was up one per cent from last year, rising to $501 million or 97 cents a share, a penny ahead of expectations. Operating revenue was slightly below estimates, growing two per cent to $3.22 billion and its shares declined 49 cents to $46.59.

In the U.S., Ford shares gained 32 cents to US$17.84 as the automaker earned $1.3 billion, or 31 cents per share, down 14 per cent from a year ago because of special items, including a $250 million charge for restructuring in Europe. Ex-items, Ford reported a pretax profit of $2.6 billion, or 45 cents per share. That was a record for the third quarter.

Revenue rose 12 per cent to $36 billion. Analysts forecast earnings of 37 cents on revenue of $33.6 billion. Ford also said that it is raising its full-year profit guidance.

Investors also took in major acquisition in the telco sector. Telus (TSX:T) announced after the close Wednesday that it has bought wireless company Public Mobile for an undisclosed figure. The primarily talk-and-text service has 280,000 customers in Ontario and Quebec. Telus climbed 77 cents to $36.54.

European bourses advanced as London’s FTSE 100 index gained 0.63 per cent, Frankfurt’s DAX was up 0.65 per cent and the Paris CAC 40 edged up 0.08 per cent.

Earlier in Asia, the China figures supported markets apart from in China itself. China’s Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.9 per cent while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng shed 0.7 per cent.

Elsewhere, Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.4 per cent and Seoul’s Kospi added 0.5 per cent.

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