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TSX Puts Spring in Step, Gains by Noon

Fortuna, Transcontinental in Picture

Canada's main stock index made tentative steps out of minus country on Thursday, as health-care and industrial gains cancelled out losses in metals and gold issues.

The TSX pointed upward 34.33 points to stop for lunch Thursday at 19,413.17.

The Canadian dollar lost 0.09 cents to 72.64 cents U.S.

Fortuna Silver Mines was the biggest percentage loser on TSX, shedding 27 cents, or 5.6%, to $4.45 after reporting a loss in the fourth quarter.

Shares of Transcontinental rose 91 cents, or 7.2%, to $13.48, after CIBC upgraded the packaging company to "outperformer" from "neutral".

On the economic calendar, Statistics Canada said wholesale sales rose 2.4% to $84.2 billion in January. Increases in the machinery, equipment and supplies subsector and the food, beverage and tobacco subsector led the growth.


The TSX Venture Exchange regained 1.51 points to 598.03.

All but three of the 12 TSX subgroups were in the “win” column as morning became afternoon, with health-care higher 1.7%, industrials prospering 1.4%, and consumer discretionary stocks better 1.1%.

The three laggards proved to be gold, down 2.4%, materials, shedding 1.3%, and communications, inching back 0.02%.


The S&P 500 rebounded Thursday, as a comeback in regional bank shares on news of potential support for a closely followed bank calmed investors amid the ongoing crisis.

The 30-stock index muscled higher 168.1 points to 32,042.67.

The S&P 500 hiked 43.29 points, or 1.1%, to 3,934.22.

The NASDAQ Composite changed direction and climbed 201.4 points, or 1.8%, to 11,635.45, as investors bought technology stocks on hopes that the crisis could push the Federal Reserve to shift its outlook on monetary policy at its meeting next week.

The Wall Street Journal reported that big banks including JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley were in talks for a possible capital infusion to troubled First Republic Bank. A full takeover was possible, according to sources cited by The Journal, though that path was considered unlikely.

Also boosting markets was an announcement from Credit Suisse overnight that it will borrow up to nearly $54 billion from the Swiss National Bank to assure short-term liquidity. The embattled bank after it fell to a record low Wednesday following reports that the Saudi National Bank, Credit Suisse’s largest investor, said it would not provide additional assistance. U.S.-listed shares were higher by 2% on Thursday.

Investors around the world also followed the announcement of a further rate hike of 50 basis points from the European Central Bank Thursday.

The decision comes as U.S. investors ready for the Federal Reserve policy meeting next week. Big technology shares such as Amazon and Alphabet gained more than 3%.

Prices for the 10-year Treasury sagged, raising yields to 3.49% from Wednesday’s 3.47%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices shed six cents to $67.55 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices retreated $13.10 to $1,918.20 U.S. an ounce.