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TSX Scales Higher Thursday

Baystreet - Thu Mar 7, 3:23PM CST
Equities in Canada’s largest centre found their mojo Thursday, guided mostly by tech stocks.

The TSX Composite moved defiantly forward 200.6 points to 21,794.56.

The Canadian dollar nicked ahead 0.29 cents at 74.3 cents U.S.

In techs, Descartes Group soared $5.84, or 5%, to $123.74, while Coveo Solutions traveled 47 cents, or 4.5%, to $10.94.

Utilities sprang up, as Brookfield Renewable Partners took on $1.39, or 4.5%, to $32.31, while Brookfield Infrastructure Partners shot higher $1.21, or 3.1%, to $40.17.

In consumer staples, Loblaw packed on $4.84, or 3.4%, to $149.34, while George Weston zoomed $4.96, or 2.8%, to $181.46.

Communications, however, didn’t have it so good, as Cogeco Communications sank $1.74, or2.8%, to $59.80, while Quebecor dipped 69 cents, or 2.2%, to $30.60.

In consumer discretionary stocks, Dollarama shed $1.73, or 1.7%, to $17.11, while Canada Goose Holdings fell 29 cents, or 1.7%, to $17.11.

In the energy patch, Vermillion Energy slid 75 cents, or 4.7%, to $15.22, while Tamarack Valley Energy gave up seven cents, or 1.9%, to $3.57.

On the economic front, Statistics Canada reported that in January, Canada's merchandise imports decreased 3.8%, while exports fell 1.7%. As a result, Canada's merchandise trade balance changed position for a second consecutive month, moving from a deficit of $863 million in December to a surplus of $496 million in January.

Also, January building permits increased 13.5% from December to $10.8 billion.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange edged up 0.62 points to 575.53.

All but three of the 12 subgroups had gained ground by Thursday’s close, with information technology jumping 2.5%, utilities and consumer staples each surging 1.9%.

The three laggards were communications, down 0.5%, consumer discretionary stocks, falling 0.3%, and energy off 0.1%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks rose Thursday, pushing the S&P 500 and NASDAQ Composite back to record highs, as hope over easing inflation and gains in tech aided Wall Street’s midweek bounce.

The Dow Jones Industrials popped 130.3 points to end Thursday at 38,791.35.

The S&P 500 gained 52.6 points, or 1%, to 5,157.76.

Information technology and communication services stocks led the S&P 500 to that record. Intel was the best performer in the Dow with a gain of more than 3%.

The NASDAQ spiked 241.83 points, or 1.5%, to 16,273.38.

The NASDAQ was helped by a gain of more than 3% in Nvidia, the artificial intelligence darling whose shares have climbed more than 11% this week. Apple also rose in the session, on pace to snap a six-day losing streak.

Investor optimism was boosted after the European Central Bank lowered forecasts for annual inflation and growth on Thursday, though the bank also held key interest rates steady. That can be taken as a positive signal on the international inflation front.

The ECB’s announcement comes after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell told Congress on Wednesday that he expects interest rates to come down this year, while noting that the U.S. central bank was not immediately ready to begin cutting. Powell spoke before the Senate Banking Committee on Thursday, the second of his two Capitol Hill appearances this week.

Investors are also awaiting Friday’s U.S. jobs report for insights into the state of the labour market, which has shown resilience despite higher interest rates.

Prices for the 10-year Treasury reasserted themselves, lowering yields to 4.09% from Wednesday’s 4.11%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices sagged 18 cents to $78.95 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices hiked $8.10 to $2,163.80.

Provided Content: Content provided by Baystreet. The Globe and Mail was not involved, and material was not reviewed prior to publication.

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