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Gold bars are stacked in the safe deposit boxes room of the Pro Aurum gold house in Munich in this file photo. (MICHAEL DALDER/REUTERS)
Gold bars are stacked in the safe deposit boxes room of the Pro Aurum gold house in Munich in this file photo. (MICHAEL DALDER/REUTERS)

At the open: TSX opens higher as gold miners shine Add to ...

Canada’s main stock index opened higher on Friday, as gold miners, buoyed by stronger bullion prices, led the climb.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index rose 35.24 points, or 0.23 per cent, to 15,170.24 shortly after the open.

Nine of the index’s 10 main sectors advanced. Materials gained 1.1 per cent and energy stocks were up 0.4 per cent. Gold rose 1 per cent to $1,229.70 (U.S.).

The Canadian dollar rose 0.22 to 78.8 cents (U.S.).

In the U.S., the S&P 500 and the Dow were little changed at the open on Friday as investors parsed earnings reports from big banks, while tepid data dimmed chances of another rate hike this year. A rise in technology stocks boosted the Nasdaq.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 20.70 points, or 0.10 per cent, at 21,573.79, the S&P 500 was up 4.18 points, or 0.17 per cent, at 2,452.01 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 14.01 points, or 0.22 per cent, at 6,288.44.

Shares of JPMorgan was down 1.7 per cent, Citigroup was off 0.8 per cent and Wells Fargo was off 2.3 per cent after the banks released mixed earnings reports.

Analysts estimate second-quarter earnings for S&P 500 companies rose 7.8 per cent from a year earlier, with financials projected to have had the third-best profit growth among sectors, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley will report results next week.

“While the economy is growing, there is still some room to run,” said J.J. Kinahan, chief market strategist at TD Ameritrade.

“People are waiting to hear from CEOs to see if they’re optimistic for the rest of the year. Given where valuations are right now, some sell off in the market won’t be bad in the short term.”

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.

Data showed that in the 12 months through June, the consumer price index (CPI) increased 1.6 per cent – the smallest gain since October 2016 – after rising 1.9 per cent in May.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the CPI climbing 1.7 per cent from a year ago.

Other data showed retail sales unexpectedly fell in June for a second straight month, dampening expectations of strong acceleration in economic growth in the second quarter.

Risk sentiment got a boost this week, with the Dow hitting another record close on Thursday, following dovish comments on interest rate hikes from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen.

Yellen said the central bank’s further rate hikes could be gradual, given persistently low inflation and that it would be “quite challenging” for U.S. growth to reach a 3-per cent target set by President Donald Trump.

Reuters

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