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Pumpjacks at work pumping crude oil near Halkirk, Alta., in this file photo. (Larry MacDougal/THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Pumpjacks at work pumping crude oil near Halkirk, Alta., in this file photo. (Larry MacDougal/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

At midday: TSX rises with mining, energy stocks Add to ...

Canada’s main stock index rose on Monday as mining shares tracked metal prices higher, while shares of energy companies gained as oil prices edged up.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 5.44 points, or 0.04 per cent, to 15,180.25.

The Canadian dollar was at 78.9 cents (U.S.), down 0.17 of a cent.

The most influential movers on the index included First Quantum Minerals Ltd., which rose 8.4 per cent to $13.64, and Lundin Mining Corp., which advanced 4.4 per cent to $8.25.

Both miners produce copper, nickel and zinc. Copper prices hit their highest since early March on the back of better-than-expected economic data from top consumer China and a weaker U.S. dollar, while nickel and zinc also gained.

The materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, added 1.5 per cent.

Gold miners also rose as the price of the precious metal climbed.

Dominion Diamond Corp. rose 5 per cent to $17.77 after the world’s third-largest diamond producer by market value agreed to a sweetened takeover offer of $14.25 per share in cash, up from $13.50, from The Washington Companies, valuing it at $1.2-billion.

The energy group added 0.6 per cent, with Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. up 0.8 per cent to $37.57 and Cenovus Energy Inc. rising 1.5 per cent to $9.40.

Oil prices edged up on Monday after data showed fewer drilling rigs were added in the United States last week, helping ease concerns that surging shale supply will undermine OPEC-led production cuts.

Advancers were outnumbering decliners by 1.4-to-1, although only four of the index’s 10 main groups were in positive territory.

Industrials fell 0.5 per cent as Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. slipped 1.3 per cent to $208.02 and SNC-Lavalin fell 1.5 per cent to $57.15.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International rose 2.2 per cent to $22.31 after saying it would sell its Obagi Medical Products business for $190-million in cash.

The resale of Canadian homes fell 6.7 per cent in June from May, the largest monthly drop since 2010 and the third-straight monthly decline as sales in Toronto plunged, the Canadian Real Estate Association said.

U.S. stocks were little changed and hovered near record levels in late morning trading on Monday as investors geared up for a busy earnings week from big U.S. companies.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 2.54 points, or 0.01 per cent, at 21,640.28, the S&P 500 was up 0.58 points, or 0.02 per cent, at 2,459.85.

The Nasdaq Composite was off 0.02 points, or flat, at 6,312.45.

Analysts estimate second-quarter earnings for the S&P 500 companies rose 8.2 per cent from a year earlier. First-quarter earnings posted their best performance since 2011, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Microsoft, IBM and Johnson and Johnson are scheduled to report results this week. Netflix will report results after the market close on Monday.

Earnings will be closely watched to see if high valuations are justified in the face of tepid inflation and a recent patch of mixed economic data.

The S&P 500 has been trading at about 18 times earnings estimates for the next 12 months, compared with the long-term average of 15 times.

“After new highs that we saw last week, the market deserves a rest as investors await big earnings this week,” said Dave Donabedian, chief investment officer of Atlantic Trust.

“Our view is that right now the equity market is a one-legged stool that’s driven by earnings and we’re pretty optimistic about earnings but if that should falter, the market will falter.”

Apple’s 0.8 per cent rise was the biggest boost on all three major indexes.

Eight of the 11 major S&P sectors were higher, with the consumer discretionary index’s 0.36 per cent rise leading the advancers.

The financial sector led the laggards with a 0.15 per cent fall after results and forecasts on Friday by big banks such as JPMorgan, Citigroup and Wells Fargo failed to excite investors.

Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs will report results later this week.

The Dow and the S&P hit record highs on Friday after weak economic data dulled prospects of more interest rate hikes this year.

Shares of BlackRock fell 3.2 per cent after the world’s biggest asset manager’s quarterly profit came in below expectations.

General Cable jumped 10 per cent after the cable manufacturer announced on Sunday a review of strategic alternatives that could include a potential sale of the company.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,702 to 1,020. On the Nasdaq, 1,447 issues rose and 1,187 fell.

Reuters

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