Markets Perk on TD, GDP

Equity markets in Canada’s largest centre rose Thursday as Toronto Dominion bank posted the strongest earnings beat among the country’s top banks and quarterly data showed Canada’s economic growth accelerated far more than expected.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index gained 34.68 points to begin Thursday at 15,133.13

The Canadian dollar recharged 0.33 cents to 79.55 cents U.S.

Toronto-Dominion Bank reported second-quarter results which were ahead of expectations driven by strong performances of its retail businesses in Canada and the United States.

TD shares vaulted $2.02, or 3.1%, to $66.92.

Magna International Inc said it is developing a system automakers can use to enable vehicles to drive themselves without requiring bulky rooftop sensors or other compromises to vehicle styling.

Magna grew 74 cents per share in price, or 1.3%, to $59.55.

BBVA said it was looking at the possible sale of its retail bank in Chile after Canada’s Bank of Nova Scotia expressed an interest in buying up to 100%. Scotiabank shares gained 26 cents to $77.98.

Jefferies raised the price target on First Quantum Minerals to $23.00 from $16.00. First Quantum shares gained 29 cents, or nearly 2%, to $15.19.

Desjardins raises price target on Transat AT Inc. to $14.00 from $9.00. Transat shares added 26 cents, or nearly 3%, to $9.03.

On the economic schedule, Statistics Canada reported that real gross domestic product (GDP) rose 1.1% in the second quarter, following a 0.9% gain in the first quarter. Expressed at an annualized rate, real GDP rose 4.5% in the second quarter. Experts were expecting a rise of 3.7% for Q2.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange nicked up 0.88 points to 773.80

All but three of the 12 TSX subgroups gained ground, most notably financials, up 0.7%, energy, ahead 0.5%, and health-care, improving 0.4%.

The three laggards were consumer staples, down 0.5%, telecoms, sliding 0.4%, and utilities, off 0.1%.

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. stocks traded higher on Thursday, the last trading day of the month, as Wall Street tried to end August on a high note. Investors also digested a broad swath of economic data ahead of a key employment report.

The Dow Jones Industrials gained 72.03 points to open Thursday at 21,964.46, with UnitedHealth contributing the most to the gains.

The S&P 500 tacked on 11 points to 2,468.59, with health-care leading all sectors higher.

The NASDAQ improved 37.92 points to 6,406.23

Entering Thursday’s session, the Dow was on track for a marginal monthly gain, while the NASDAQ was up 0.3% in August. The S&P was on track for a slight loss, however, and was set to snap a four-month winning streak.

Investors also digested key economic data released Thursday.

Weekly jobless claims totaled 236,000, matching estimates, while the so-called core personal consumption expenditures increased 1.4% in July on a year-over-year basis, the smallest gain since December 2015. The core PCE is the Federal Reserve’s preferred measure of inflation, and it’s lagging the central bank’s 2% target.

Other economic data released Thursday included pending home sales, which fell 0.8% in June. The data deluge comes a day ahead of the U.S, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ monthly employment report, which is scheduled for release on Friday at 8:30 a.m. ET.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year Treasury note gained a small bit of ground, lowering yields to 2.13% from Wednesday’s 2.14%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices gained $1.26 to $47.22 U.S. a barrel

Gold prices gained back $4.30 to $1,318.40 U.S. an ounce.

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