Canada’s main stock index opened higher Thursday on the back of positive corporate results and improved crude prices. On Wall, Street, key indexes saw a tentative early advance with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq looking to extend their recent winning streaks.
At 9:32 a.m. ET, the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 108.49 points, or 0.56 per cent, at 19,638.7.
In the U.S., the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 51.44 points, or 0.15 per cent, at the open to 34,163.71.
The S&P 500 opened higher by 8.63 points, or 0.20 per cent, at 4,391.41, while the Nasdaq Composite gained 43.28 points, or 0.32 per cent, to 13,693.70 at the opening bell.
“Markets have remained relatively tranquil amid the current lull in the U.S. data calendar,” Stephen Innes, managing partner with SPI Asset Management, said.
“It appears that investors may have anticipated a more substantial pushback from the Fed against the decline in U.S. rates. However, Fed speakers seem content, if not yet on the ‘golden path,’ at least heading in that direction.”
In Canada, earnings are back in the spotlight. Rogers Communications, Canadian Tire and Cineplex are among the companies reporting results this morning.
The Globe’s Alexandra Posadzki reports this morning that Rogers Communications Inc. saw a net loss of $99-million during its most recent quarter, even as its revenue grew 36 per cent year over year to $5.09-billion. The telecom attributed the loss, which compared to a net profit of $371-million a year ago, to higher depreciation and amortization, higher finance costs and higher restructuring, acquisition and other costs, primarily related to its recent acquisition and continuing integration of Shaw Communications Inc. However, Rogers also added 225,000 monthly bill-paying wireless subscribers in the September quarter, beating forecasts. On an adjusted basis, Rogers earned a profit of $1.27 per share in the latest quarter, beating estimates of $1.10, according to LSEG. Shares were up more than 3 per cent shortly after the opening bell in Toronto.
Canadian Tire, meanwhile, reported a net loss attributable to shareholders of $66.4-million, or $1.19 per diluted share, for the quarter ended Sept. 30 compared with a profit of $184.9-million, or $3.14 per diluted share a year earlier. On a normalized basis, Canadian Tire says it earned $2.96 per diluted share in its latest quarter, compared with $3.34 per diluted share a year earlier. Revenue was $4.25 billion, up from $4.23 billion in the same quarter last year. The retailer also raised its quarterly dividend to $1.75 per share. The Globe’s Susan Krashinksy Robertson reports that the retail is also cutting about 3 per cent of its work force as economic pressures weigh on consumer demand.
Last night, Suncor Energy topped market expectations with its third-quarter profit, helped by strong markets and higher sales volumes form its oil sands operations. On an adjusted basis, the company earned $1.52 per share in the quarter ended Sept. 30, compared with analysts’ average estimate of $1.36 per share, according to LSEG data.
On Wall Street, shares of Walt Disney Co. were up more than 7 per cent in early trading after the entertainment giant topped market forecasts with traffic at some theme parks helping offset declines in revenue at the its ABC television network. For the fiscal fourth quarter ended Sept. 30, Disney reported adjusted per-share earnings of 82 U.S. cents, exceeding an average forecast of 70 US cents, according to LSEG data. Disney also said it plans to ask its board to reinstate a dividend payment to shareholders by the end of 2023, Reuters reported.
Overseas, the pan-European STOXX 600 was up 0.77 per cent by afternoon. Britain’s FTSE 100 rose 0.59 per cent. Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 gained 0.59 per cent and 0.85 per cent, respectively.
In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei jumped 1.49 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.33 per cent. New figures from China early Thursday showed consumer prices fell 0.2 per cent on an annual basis in October, more than the 0.1-per-cent decline economists had been forecasting.
Crude prices recouped some recent losses in the early premarket period, despite a weaker-than-forecast reading on consumer prices in China.
The day range on Brent was US$ 79.44 to US$80.43 in the early premarket period. The range on West Texas Intermediate was US$75.21 to US$76.13. Both benchmarks lost about 2 per cent on Wednesday to touch their lowest levels since this summer.
“The focus is clearly shifting from undersupply to weak demand and central banks insisting that rates must remain high could further exacerbate that,” OANDA senior analyst Craig Erlam said in a recent note.
“And frequent reminders that Saudi Arabia and Russia will maintain cuts until the end of the year aren’t doing anything to offset this as it was never assumed they would change their minds. Especially now prices are falling. An extension announcement later this month could give oil prices a boost.”
Early Thursday, new data out of China showed consumer prices fell 0.2 per cent in October on a year-over-year basis while producer prices fell 2.6 per cent, compared with the same period a year earlier. Concern over the health of China’s economy has stalked crude markets because of its position as a major global consumer.
“Chinese growth prospects took a hit overnight, with the country moving back into deflation territory,” Joshua Mahony, chief market analyst with Scope Markets, said.
“With the latest IMF forecasts signalling expectations of a GDP decline in 2024, today’s declines across both consumer and factory prices does serve to highlight the lack of positive momentum evident in China.”
In other commodities, spot gold was steady at US$1,948.94 per ounce by early Thursday morning after hitting its lowest since Oct. 19 on Wednesday. U.S. gold futures fell 0.2 per cent to US$1,954.30.
The Canadian dollar was steady to slightly positive while its U.S. counterpart was little changed against a basket of world currencies.
The day range on the loonie was 72.41 US cents to 72.56 US cents in the early premarket period.
The Globe’s Mark Rendell reports that the he Bank of Canada’s policy-setting Governing Council is divided on whether more interest-rate increases may be needed to bring inflation back under control, according to a summary of the discussions that took place ahead of the central bank’s latest rate decision. Bank of Canada Deputy Governor Carolyn Rogers is scheduled to speak in Vancouver later this morning.
“Yesterday’s BoC’s summary of deliberations for the October policy decision delivered a bit more bite than we are used to seeing with this release,” Shaun Osborne, chief FX strategist with Scotiabank, said. “The content sounded more hawkish on the face of it than the policy statement/press conference last month where inflation concerns were balanced by a nod to slowing growth.”
On world markets, the U.S. dollar index, which weighs the greenback against a group of currencies, was essentially flat at 105.59 in the predawn period. The index has fallen nearly 1 per cent over the past month.
The euro was last down 0.1 per cent at US$1.06985, but not far from Monday’s near two month peak of US$1.0765, it is also doing well on the crosses at 161.6 yen, around a 15-year high, according to figures from Reuters.
Britain’s pound was up slightly at US$1.2291.
In bonds, the yield on the U.S. 10-year note was higher at 4.535 per cent ahead of the North American opening bell.
More company news
Manulife Financial Corp. says its net income rose in the third quarter from last year, supported especially by business growth in Asia. The insurer says it had a net income attributed to shareholders of $1-billion in the quarter ending Sept. 30, up from $777-million last year, when new reporting rules are factored in. Manulife core earnings, which the company says strips out short-term market fluctuations and is a better measure of long-term potential, came in at $1.74-billion, up from $1.34-billion last year. -The Canadian Press
Cineplex Inc. reported net income of $29.7-million in its latest quarter as Barbie, Oppenheimer and Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning helped its revenue hit an all-time quarterly record. The movie theatre company says the profit amounted to 40 cents per diluted share for the quarter ended Sept. 30, down from $30.9 million or 43 cents per diluted share a year earlier. The results for the quarter last year included a $49.8-million one-time gain related to the reorganization of its Scene loyalty program. -The Canadian Press
(8:30 a.m. ET) U.S. initial jobless claims for week of Nov. 4.
(11:45 a.m. ET) Bank of Canada Deputy Governor Carolyn Rogers speaks at Advocis Vancouver.
(2 p.m. ET) U.S. Fed chair Jerome Powell speaks on a panel on monetary policy challenges in a global economic at an IMF conference.
With Reuters and The Canadian Press