Gold stocks boost TSX
Aug 20, 2013 / 7:26 am
The Toronto stock market racked up a modest gain in early trading Tuesday, thanks to gold stocks which continued to recover from a severe battering earlier in the summer.
However, base metal and energy stocks weighed as economic concerns pressured oil prices and traders awaited more clarity on what the Federal Reserve may decide to do about cutting back on a key stimulus measure.
The S&P/TSX composite index gained 16.37 points to 12,604.39.
The Canadian dollar was down 0.5 of a cent to 96.19 cents US.
New York indexes were generally weak despite better than expected earnings from retailers Best Buy, Home Depot and J.C. Penny.
The Dow Jones industrials dipped 0.61 of a point to 15,010.13, the Nasdaq gained 10.45 points to 3,599.53 while the S&P 500 index added 1.62 points to 1,647.68.
Traders looked ahead to Wednesday and the release of the minutes from the Fed's most recent meeting at the end of last month. A largely positive run of economic data has persuaded many investors that the central bank will start to taper its monthly bond purchases of US$85 billion, starting as early as September. The stimulus program has kept long term rates low and encouraged a sharp runup on many markets this year.
The TSX gold sector ran up about two per cent while gold ticked $4.90 higher to US$1,366.50 an ounce. The sector was punished along with gold prices after Fed chairman Ben Bernanke first mentioned the possibility of the Fed cutting back in May. The sector hit a recent low in late June, leaving the gold sector down about 50 per cent year to date. It has since improved and the sector is down about 30 per cent so far in 2013. Goldcorp Inc. (TSX:G) gained 53 cents to $32.56.
The base metals sector led decliners, down 0.7 per cent while copper was unchanged at US$3.33 a pound. Teck Resources (TSX:TCK.B) dropped 46 cents to C$27.65.
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