TSX advances on threat of military strike
Aug 29, 2013 / 7:32 am
The Toronto stock market was higher Thursday amid strong bank earnings and an easing of concerns over a U.S.-led military intervention in Syria.
The S&P/TSX composite index gained 32.53 points to 12,639.75.
The Canadian dollar was down 0.2 of a cent at 95.17 cents US as the greenback strengthened against other currencies across the board.
CIBC (TSX:CM) posted net earnings of $890 million or $2.16 per diluted share in the most recent period, up from $841 million or $2 a diluted share in the same period last year. Revenue rose to $3.26 billion from $3.15 billion.
Adjusted net income was $943 million or $2.29 per share diluted, 14 cents ahead of estimates and its shares gained 64 cents to $81.08.
Royal Bank (TSX:RY) shares rose 73 cents to $65.22 as the bank reported record net income of $2.3 billion for the third quarter, an increase of three per cent from a year ago. Diluted earnings per share were $1.52, an increase of five cents from the third quarter of 2012. The bank also raised its dividend six per cent to 67 cents a share.
Profit was $1.48 a share ex-items, beating expectations of $1.38.
TD Bank’s (TSX:TD) quarterly net income was $1.53 billion or $1.58 per diluted share, compared with $1.7 billion or $1.78 per share a year ago. However, earnings ex-items were $1.65 a share against estimates of $1.55 a share and the bank increased its quarterly dividend by four cents, or five per cent, to 85 cents per share.
TD Insurance posted a third-quarter loss of $243 million after tax, the result of charges of approximately $418 million after tax from a combination of severe weather-related impacts and increased general insurance claims. TD shares advanced $1.02 to $88.83.
Meanwhile, U.S. indexes were slightly higher amid indications that a U.S.-led military intervention in Syria may not be happening imminently.
The prospect of an immediate multinational response diminished late Wednesday after the UN Security Council’s permanent members failed to agree to a proposal to use force against Syria.
And President Barack Obama also gave the impression that he had not yet decided to back a military strike. The U.K. government also backed down on a parliamentary vote to authorize British participation in any strike against Syria until UN inspectors reveal their findings on the apparent chemical attack in the suburbs of Damascus that has been blamed on the government of President Bashar Assad. The report is expected within a week.
The prospect of intervention in the country's civil war has rattled markets this week as it has raised fears that such a move could seriously affect a fragile global economic recovery and that fighting could spread to other areas of the Mideast.
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