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Markets

TSX rises on materials boost, upbeat Aphria earnings

  • The largest percentage gainers on the TSX were pot producers Aphria Inc, and Aurora Cannabis, which jumped 13.3% and 7.2%, respectively.
  • Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was up 44.65 points, or 0.25%, at 17,979.39.
14 Jan 2021

Canada's main stock index rose on Thursday, helped by materials stocks and upbeat earnings by Aphria Inc, with optimism about a large US stimulus under incoming US President Joe Biden further boosting sentiment.

The materials sector, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, added 0.8%.

The largest percentage gainers on the TSX were pot producers Aphria Inc, and Aurora Cannabis, which jumped 13.3% and 7.2%, respectively, after Aphria posted a quarterly adjusted profit compared to year-ago loss.

The optimism in the Canadian market followed the upbeat mood in global equities after CNN reported Biden could spend a more-than-expected $2 trillion in stimulus.

At 9:40 a.m. ET (14:40 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was up 44.65 points, or 0.25%, at 17,979.39.

Adding to the upbeat mood, data showed Chinese exports grew more than expected in December, as coronavirus disruptions around the world fueled demand for Chinese goods.

The energy sector dropped 0.1% as US crude prices were down 0.6% a barrel, while Brent crude lost 1.0%.

On the TSX, 148 issues were higher, while 66 issues declined for a 2.24-to-1 ratio favouring gainers, with 17.70 million shares traded.

The fuel-cell products developer Ballard Power Systems Inc fell 6.5%, the most on the TSX, after brokerage TD Securities downgraded the rating "hold" from "speculative buy" and the second biggest decliner was NFI Group Inc, down 2.6%.

The most heavily traded shares by volume were Zenabis Global Inc, Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc,and Aphria Inc.

The TSX posted seven new 52-week highs and no new lows.

Across all Canadian issues there were 59 new 52-week highs and six new lows, with total volume of 42.09 million shares.