Canadian Stocks Are Bouncing Back On Gold Strength - Canadian Commentary

( - The Canadian stock market is climbing in early trade Thursday, rebounding from yesterday's slight dip. Commodity prices are rising this morning, which has provided a boost to shares of gold and energy stocks. Today's announcement from the European Central Bank has also helped to boost shares of gold stocks.

Markets in Europe have been rallying higher since around midday, after the European Central Bank revealed plans to start exiting its massive quantitative easing by the end of this year.

Markets on Wall Street are holding onto modest gains in early trade Thursday, following yesterday's late pullback. Investors were encouraged by the better than expected retail sales report.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index is up 43.52 points or 0.27 percent at 16,309.34.

On Wednesday, the index closed down by 23.16 points or 0.14 percent, at 16,265.82. The index scaled an intraday high of 16,321.03 and a low of 16,259.00.

The Gold Index is increasing 1.03 percent. Gold prices are rising Thursday after the European Central Bank president warned that "increased protectionism" could hurt the economic outlook.

Goldcorp (G.TO) is rising 0.76 percent and Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) is gaining 1.00 percent. Yamana Gold (YRI.TO) is climbing 3.32 percent and Kinross Gold (K.TO) is adding 1.24 percent. Eldorado Gold (ELD.TO) is advancing 1.33 percent and IAMGOLD (IMG.TO) is up 0.77 percent. B2Gold (BTO.TO) is higher by 0.58 percent.

The Capped Information Technology Index is gaining 0.77 percent. BlackBerry (BB.TO) is increasing 0.50 percent and Descartes Systems Group (DSG.TO) is advancing 1.09 percent. Constellation Software (CSU.TO) is adding 0.26 percent.

The Capped Industrials Index is up 0.55 percent. Canadian National Railway (CNR.TO) is climbing 0.91 percent and Canadian Pacific Railway (CP.TO) is gaining 1.07 percent. WestJet Airlines (WJA.TO) is rising 1.27 percent and Air Canada (AC.TO) is adding 0.09 percent. Finning International (FTT.TO) is up 0.30 percent.

The Capped Materials Index is up 0.34 percent. Franco-Nevada (FNV.TO) is gaining 0.42 percent and Agnico Eagle Mines (AEM.TO) is climbing 1.18 percent. Nutrien (NTR.TO) is adding 0.75 percent.

The heavyweight Financial Index is increasing 0.13 percent. Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) is climbing 0.08 percent and National Bank of Canada (NA.TO) is increasing 0.25 percent. Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) is advancing 0.45 percent.

The Capped Telecommunication Services Index is down 0.46 percent. BCE (BCE.TO) is losing 0.14 percent.

The Energy Index is falling 0.31 percent. Crude oil prices are up slightly Thursday morning, hovering around $67 a barrel.

Crescent Point Energy (CPG.TO) is weakening by 0.61 percent and Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) is losing 0.93 percent.

The Capped Healthcare Index is lower by 0.32 percent. Valeant Pharmaceuticals International (VRX.TO) is falling 0.11 percent and ProMetic Life Sciences (PLI.TO) is declining 7.69 percent.

Tour operator Transat AT Inc. (TRZ.TO) reported a profit in its latest quarter compared with a loss a year ago. The stock is now down 2.80 percent.

On the economic front, Canada's new house price index was unchanged in April.

Meanwhile, national net worth, the sum of national wealth and Canada's net foreign asset position, increased 1.6% to $11,375.9 billion at the end of the first quarter.

Industrial production in China was up 6.8 percent on year in May, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Thursday. That was shy of expectations for 7.0 percent, which would have been unchanged from the April reading.

Germany's consumer price inflation accelerated, as initially estimated, on energy prices in May, final data from Destatis showed Thursday.

Consumer prices climbed 2.2 percent year-on-year in May, faster than the 1.6 percent increase in April but in line with the estimate published on May 30. The last time the inflation rate reached this level was in February 2017.

France's consumer price inflation accelerated as initially estimated in May, latest figures from the statistical office Insee showed Thursday. Consumer prices climbed 2.0 percent year-over-year in May, faster than April's 1.6 percent rise. That was in line with the flash data published on May 31.

UK retail sales growth accelerated more than expected in May, figures from the Office for National Statistics revealed Thursday. Retail sales volume including auto fuel, grew 1.3 percent month-on-month, following April's 1.8 percent increase. This was the second consecutive rise in sales and much bigger than the expected 0.5 percent.

UK house price balance improved more than expected in May, reports said citing the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors on Thursday. The house price balance rose to -3 percent in May from -7 percent in April. The expected level was -5 percent.

Reflecting strong sales growth throughout much of the sector, the Commerce Department released a report on Thursday showing a much bigger than expected increase in U.S. retail sales in the month of May.

The Commerce Department said retail sales jumped by 0.8 percent in May after climbing by an upwardly revised 0.4 percent in April. Economists had expected retail sales to rise by 0.4 percent compared to the 0.3 percent increase originally reported for the previous month.

A report released by the Labor Department on Thursday showed an unexpected decrease in first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits in the week ended June 9th. The report said initial jobless claims edged down to 218,000, a decrease of 4,000 from the previous week's unrevised level of 222,000. Economists had expected initial jobless claims to inch up to 224,000.

Import and export prices in the U.S. both increased by more than anticipated in the month of May, the Labor Department revealed in a report released on Thursday.

The Labor Department said import prices climbed by 0.6 percent in May, matching the upwardly revised increase in April. Economists had expected import prices to rise by 0.5 percent.

Export prices also increased by 0.6 percent in May, matching the growth reported for the previous month. Export prices had been expected to rise by 0.3 percent.

Business inventories in the U.S. increased in line with economist estimates in the month of April, according to a report released by the Commerce Department on Thursday. The Commerce Department said business inventories rose by 0.3 percent in April following a revised 0.1 percent dip in March.

Economists had expected inventories to rise by 0.3 percent compared to the virtually unchanged reading originally reported for the previous month.

In commodities, crude oil futures for July delivery are up 0.15 or 0.23 percent at $66.79 a barrel.

Natural gas for July is down 0.029 or 0.98 percent at $2.934 per million btu.

Gold futures for August are up 5.29 or 0.41 percent at $1,306.60 an ounce.

Silver for July is up 0.224 or 1.32 percent at $17.215 an ounce.

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