Canada’s main stock index saw a modest advance at Wednesday’s opening bell helped by gains in tech shares and a jump in Teck stock after the company withdrew a proposal to split the company ahead of a shareholder vote. On Wall Street, key indexes were positive in early trading, buoyed by positive earnings.
At 9:34 a.m. ET, the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 11.57 points, or 0.06 per cent, at 20,451.44.
In the U.S., the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 65.51 points, or 0.20 per cent, at the open to 33,596.34. The S&P 500 opened higher by 16.15 points, or 0.40 per cent, at 4,087.78.
Nasdaq Composite added 90.72 points, or 0.77 per cent, at 11,889.88.
“Overall earnings are coming in better-than-expected, but the consumer is weakening and very concerned about the outlook,” OANDA senior analyst Ed Moya said.
“This deep into earnings season, it seems the outlook isn’t too bad and that should mean the Fed can stay on their tightening course with the risks of a June hike still remaining on the table.”
Early Wednesday, shares of Microsoft were up more than 7 per cent in early trading after third-quarter revenue and profit topped Wall Street forecasts, helped by growth in the cloud computing and Office software businesses.
Tech earnings continue Wednesday with results from Facebook parent Meta Platforms after the end of trading.
Meanwhile, Britain Wednesday said it would block Microsoft’s US$69-billion acquisition of Call of Duty maker Activision Blizzard over worries it would hamper competition in cloud gaming. Microsoft says it will appeal the decision.
In Canada, Rogers Communications holds its annual meeting and released quarterly earnings this morning. Other Canadian companies reporting today include Cenovus and CGI. Canadian Pacific Kansas City reports after the close.
Elsewhere, The Globe’s Niall McGee reports this morning that Teck, which is fending off a takeover bid from Swiss mining giant Glencore, has withdrawn a proposal to split the company hours before shareholders were scheduled to vote on the plan. Instead, Teck says it will pursue an alternate proposal.
Early Wednesday, Teck reported adjusted profit of $1.81 per share for the three months to March 31, compared with an average analyst estimate of $1.82, according to Refinitiv IBES data, Reuters reported.
Tech shares were up more than 4 per cent just after the opening bell in Toronto.
On the economic side, the Bank of Canada releases deliberations from its last policy meeting this afternoon.
Overseas, the pan-European STOXX 600 was down 0.89 per cent by midday. Britain’s FTSE 100 fell 0.35 per cent. Germany’s DAX lost 0.66 per cent and France’s CAC 40 slid 1.06 per cent.
In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei lost 0.71 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.71 per cent.
Crude prices struggled to hold early gains even as new U.S. inventory figures suggested solid demand.
The day range on Brent was US$80.57 to US$81.47 in the early premarket period. The range on West Texas Intermediate was US$77 to US$77.93. Crude prices fell by about 2 per cent yesterday.
Late Tuesday, the American Petroleum Institute reported that U.S. crude oil stocks fell by about 6.1 million barrels in the week ended April 21. Analysts had expected a decline of about 1.5 million barrels.
More official U.S. government figures will be released later Wednesday morning.
Gold prices, meanwhile, traded in a narrow range as markets await next week’s rate decision by the U.S. Federal Reserve.
Spot gold was little changed at US$1,995.67 per ounce by early Wednesday morning, while U.S. gold futures rose 0.1 per cent to US$2,006.70.
The Canadian dollar was steady, helped by recovering crude prices and improved risk sentiment, while its U.S. counterpart slid against a basket of currencies.
The day range on the loonie was 73.29 US cents to 73.45 US cents in the early premarket period.
Investors will get a look at the Bank of Canada’s deliberations at its last policy meeting later in the day. Later in the week, GDP figures for February are due.
On world markets, the dollar index, which measures the currency against six major rivals, was down 0.25 per cent at 101.56 after a 0.5-per-cent increase Tuesday, as it benefited from a short-term flight to safety, Reuters reported.
The euro rose 0.4 per cent against the U.S. dollar to US$1.1019 and Britain’s pound rose 0.38 per cent US$1.2457. Both saw losses on Tuesday.
In bonds, the yield on the U.S. 10-year note was higher at 3.407 per cent in the predawn period.
More company news
Rogers Communications Inc reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit on Wednesday, as gains in its wireless business helped offset weakness in its cable TV unit. Demand for Rogers’ 5G services has remained high, but increased cord-cutting hurt its cable business. The telecom giant’s wireless revenue grew 10% in the first quarter. Cable revenue fell 2%. Rogers blamed increased competitive promotional activity and a decline in video and home phone revenue for the shortfall. -Reuters
Cenovus Energy Inc reported a fall in first-quarter profit on Wednesday, hurt by lower oil prices. The Calgary, Alberta-based company reported a net income of $636-million, or 32 cents per share, for the quarter, compared with $1.63-billion, or 79 cents per share, a year earlier. -Reuters
Boeing Co said on Wednesday that it planned to ramp up production of its 737 MAX jets to 38 per month by year-end, while backing its annual cash-flow goal, as it tries to reassure investors after manufacturing problems threatened to derail deliveries. Boeing’s jet deliveries and free cash flow are being closely watched, as the company tries to recover from a series of crises since two fatal MAX crashes in 2018 and 2019. -Reuters
(8:30 a.m. ET) U.S. goods trade deficit for March.
(8:30 a.m. ET) U.S. wholesale and retail inventories for March.
(8:30 a.m. ET) U.S. durable and core orders for March.
(1:30 p.m. ET) Bank of Canada summary of deliberations for April 12 decision.
With Reuters and The Canadian Press