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Canada’s main stock index rose on Thursday, led by gains in the energy sector, which benefited from rising oil prices.

At 11:30 a.m. ET, the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 40.85 points, or 0.25 per cent, at 16,225.55.

Oil prices rose on concerns about a plunge in exports from Venezuela, helping the energy sector climb 2.2 per cent.

Biggest boosts to the energy group were shares of Suncor Energy Inc, rising 2.6 per cent and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd, which gained 2.3 per cent.

The financial sector climbed 0.5 per cent and was the second biggest boost to the main index. Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and Bank of Montreal were both up 0.6 per cent.

Dollarama Inc. fell 6.3 per cent, the most on the TSX, after reporting first-quarter revenue and same-store sales that misses estimates.

The second biggest decliner on the TSX was Aphria Inc , down 5.6 per cent

The most heavily traded shares by volume were cannabis firms, Aurora Cannabis Inc., Aphria Inc and Canopy Growth Corp.

The Canadian dollar was little changed against its U.S. counterpart as voters in Ontario headed to the polls and ahead of an assessment by the Bank of Canada of risks to the stability of the financial system.

A Reuters poll showed that the Canadian dollar will strengthen over the coming year as economic growth prompts the Bank of Canada to raise interest rates again, but strategists see risk to their bullish forecasts from NAFTA talks.

A rally in technology stocks came to a halt on Thursday, setting up the Nasdaq for its first loss in five days, while a jump in McDonald’s shares boosted the Dow.

Shares of the world’s biggest fast-food chain rose 3.7 per cent after media reports that the company was planning a new round of layoffs.

The S&P technology index fell 1 per cent, led by heavyweights Facebook, Microsoft and Alphabet , after rising for six previous sessions.

“It’s probably a slight give back considering a pretty robust return month-to-date already,” said Michael Dowdall, investment strategist at BMO Global Asset Management in Chicago.

However, there were a few bright spots in the sector, with some chipmakers and optical stocks gaining after U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Washington had reached a deal with China’s No. 2 telecommunications equipment maker ZTE that would allow it to do business again with U.S. suppliers.

Qualcomm and NXP Semiconductors also rose 1.9 per cent and 6.5 per cent respectively. A $44 billion acquisition of NXP by Qualcomm is still under review by China’s market regulator, although there have been some signs of progress as China and Washington negotiated on trade in the past month.

“It’s a relatively quiet week. Everyone is getting geared up for the next when we have the Fed, ECB, BoJ making decisions, along with the Trump-Kim meeting,” said Dowdall.

“That’s what people are really looking forward to, at this point, it’s a quiet melt-up.”

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 122.15 points, or 0.49 per cent, at 25,268.54, the S&P 500 was down 0.43 points, or 0.02 per cent, at 2,771.92 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 49.09 points, or 0.64 per cent, at 7,640.16.

Brent crude gained nearly 2 per cent on concerns of a plunge in exports from Venezuela, helping the S&P energy index rise more than 1.7 per cent. J.M. Smucker’s shares fell 5 per cent after the Folgers coffee maker reported quarterly results and full-year forecast that missed Wall Street estimates.

Investors will look to a G7 summit starting in Canada on Friday for more signs on the trade tensions and tit-for-tat tariffs which weakened the stock market through February and March.

The two-day meeting will be the first chance for world leaders to confront Trump in person, since U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada, Mexico and the European Union were imposed last week.

Canada and Mexico have retaliated against a range of U.S. exports and the EU has promised to do so as well.


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Tickers mentioned in this story

Study and track financial data on any traded entity: click to open the full quote page. Data updated as of 23/05/24 4:00pm EDT.

SymbolName% changeLast
Bank of Montreal
Canadian Natural Resources Ltd.
Suncor Energy Inc
Canopy Growth Corp
Dollarama Inc
Aurora Cannabis Inc

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