Skip to main content


Canada’s main stock index advanced early Thursday helped by gains in gold and tech shares. On Wall Street, indexes also opened higher with positive earnings helping ease lingering concerns about rising interest rates.

At 9:33 a.m. ET, the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 113.78 points, or 0.55 per cent, at 20,793.32.

In the U.S., the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 156.60 points, or 0.46 per cent, at the open to 34,105.61.

The S&P 500 opened higher by 26.39 points, or 0.64 per cent, at 4,144.25, while the Nasdaq Composite gained 158.58 points, or 1.33 per cent, to 12,069.10 at the opening bell.

Early Thursday, shares of Walt Disney Co. were up more than 4 per cent in morning trading in New York after the company unveiled a sweeping restructuring that would see about 7,000 jobs eliminated and US$5.5-billion cost cuts.

The announcement came as the company topped analysts’ profit forecasts in the latest quarter and saw smaller subscriber losses for its Disney+ streaming service than expected. The service lost about 2.4 million subscribers in the most recent quarter versus estimates of about 3 million.

PepsiCo and Kellogg are among the big U.S. companies reporting this morning. PayPal and Lyft report after the close.

In Canada, investors will got a slew of corporate results.

The Globe’s Nicolas Van Praet reports this morning that Bombardier Inc. is predicting sharply higher financial results on several key metrics for the coming year as the Canadian luxury jet maker continues to pull in wealthy customers who are shrugging off recession fears. The Montreal-based plane maker released fourth quarter and annual earnings Thursday morning that confirmed the preliminary results it reported last month. It also published a bullish new forecast for the year. Shares were down about 2 per cent shortly after the opening bell in Toronto.

Meanwhile, cannabis company Canopy Growth said early Thursday that it would cut 800 jobs or roughly 35 per cent of its workforce in coming months. The company will also shutter its 1 Hershey facility and consolidate some cultivation operations. Canopy’s TSX-listed shares slumped about 8 per cent in early trading.

On the economics side, interest rates remain at the forefront in both countries.

The Globe’s Mark Rendell reports the Bank of Canada’s governing council raised interest rates again last month to “insure” against inflation getting stuck above 2 per cent, but they also announced a pause to further rate hikes after seeing enough “green shoots” to suggest price pressures are easing, according to a summary of rate decision deliberations, published for the first time on Wednesday. The five-person governing council, led by central bank Governor Tiff Macklem, considered holding interest rates steady on Jan. 25.

In the U.S., Federal Reserve officials continue to underscore chair Jerome Powell’s message that rates in that country will need to continue to rise even as indications suggest inflationary pressures are easing.

“A succession of Fed speakers on Wednesday doubled down on the hawkish chatter, with Fed vice chair John Williams echoing Powell’s comments but going a bit further by saying that rates might need to remain restrictive for a few years, which was a significant departure from recent comments from other Fed policymakers,” Michael Hewson, chief market analyst with CMC Markets U.K., said in a note.

“He was followed by Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari who reiterated his comments from earlier this year that the Fed needed to see a terminal rate of 5.4 per cent before a pause, while both Governor Christopher Waller and Lisa Cook followed up with hawkish comments of their own.”

Overseas, the pan-European STOXX 600 was up 0.93 per cent by midday. Britain’s FTSE 100 gained 0.76 per cent while Germany’s DAX advanced 1.10 per cent. France’s CAC 40 gained 1.31 per cent.

In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei closed down 0.08 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng jumped 1.6 per cent amid gains in tech shares.


Crude prices turned lower ahead of the North American open with a rise in weekly U.S. inventories offsetting continued optimism over the impact of China’s reopening on demand.

The day range on Brent was US$84.81 to US$85.46 in the early premarket period. The range on West Texas Intermediate was US$78.21 to US$78.80.

Both benchmarks are up about 7 per cent so far this week, supported by recovering demand in China as that country’s economy reopens after easing COVID-19 restrictions.

Sentiment took a hit after new figures from the U.S. Energy Information Administration showed U.S. crude inventories rose last week to their highest since June 2021 to 455.1 million barrels.

U.S. gasoline and distillate inventories also rose last week.

“Oil didn’t get any favors from the EIA crude oil inventory report that showed a modest build and as production rose to the highest levels since April 2020,” OANDA senior analyst Ed Moya said.

“The oil demand situation appears to be improving, however, so oil shouldn’t selloff at all.”

Gold prices, meanwhile, advanced as the U.S. dollar eased.

Spot gold was up 0.5 per cent at US$1,884.90 per ounce by early Thursday morning. U.S. gold futures rose 0.3 per cent to US$1,896.10.


The Canadian dollar rose in early trading amid improved risk sentiment while its U.S. counterpart pulled back against a group of currencies.

The day range on the loonie was 74.28 US cents to 74.63 US cents in the predawn period.

Traders in Canada are now awaiting Friday’s release of the January jobs report by Statistics Canada.

“As we go to press during Asia’s trading session, there has been little in the way of significant news,” RBC FX strategist Daria Parkhomenko said in an early note.

“USD is drifting lower, though well within the recent range.”

The U.S. dollar index, which weighs the greenback against a group of world currencies, was down 0.44 per cent at 102.95 early Thursday morning.

The euro, meanwhile, rose 0.47 per cent to US$1.076, largely looking through German inflation data that came in slightly below expectations, according to Reuters.

Britain’s pound rose 0.46 per cent to US$1.2132 with Britain.

In bonds, the yield on the U.S. 10-year note was down at 3.594 per cent ahead of the North American opening bell.

More company news

Telus Corp. reported its fourth-quarter profit fell compared with a year ago as its revenue climbed higher. The company says its net income attributable to common shares totalled $248-million or 17 cents per share for the quarter ended Dec. 31, down from $644-million or 47 cents per share a year earlier. Operating revenue and other revenue for the quarter totalled $5.1-billion, up from $4.9-billion in the last three months of 2021. -The Canadian Press

PepsiCo Inc on Thursday beat analysts’ estimates for fourth-quarter revenue and profit, helped by price hikes undertaken by the beverage company to tackle rising costs. The company’s shares rose 1.3% in premarket trading after it also raised its annualized dividend by 10% to $5.06 per share. However, the Frito-Lay maker forecast annual profit below Wall Street estimates, signaling multiple price hikes were likely to dampen demand for its sodas and snacks amid a cost-of-living crisis. -Reuters

Sun Life Financial Inc. says its net income in the fourth quarter of 2022 was $951-million, down 12 per cent from a year earlier. Earnings per share were $1.62, down from $1.83 in the fourth quarter of 2021. Earnings for the full year were $3.1-billion, down 22 per cent from 2021. Sun Life says insurance sales were $1.8-billion in the fourth quarter, up from $1.6-billion a year earlier. -The Canadian Press

Credit Suisse Group on Thursday reported its worst annual loss since the 2008 global financial crisis after rattled clients fled in droves, and warned that a further “substantial” loss would come this year. Its shares fell 2.5% in early morning trade. Battered by one scandal after another, the bank saw a sharp acceleration in withdrawals in the fourth quarter with outflows of more than 110 billion Swiss francs (US$120-billion), although it said the picture has been improving. -Reuters

Mattel Inc forecast 2023 earnings below estimates, joining rival Hasbro Inc in feeling the brunt of persistently high inflation that has hit demand for its action figures and Barbie dolls. While the toy industry has historically been more resilient to economic downturns than other discretionary sectors, Mattel said demand dropped off suddenly and sharply in October and November, leading to more profit-margin denting clearance sales to get rid of excess inventory. -Reuters

Canada’s Imperial Oil on Wednesday said it is working with the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) to fix industrial wastewater seepage from tailings ponds at its Kearl oil sands project that has been ongoing for months. The AER issued an environmental protection order to Imperial on Monday, giving the Calgary-based company until the end of this week to submit a plan to intercept and contain the seepage before the spring snowmelt, and until the end of February to figure out how to fix the problem. -Reuters

Economic news

(8:30 a.m. ET) U.S. initial jobless claims for week of Feb. 4.

With Reuters and The Canadian Press