Toronto's main stock index opened higher on Wednesday as stronger-than-expected Canadian housing data gave investors a reason to be optimistic after shares dropped to their lowest point of the year in the previous session.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index gained 57.76 points to begin Wednesday's session at 11,993.05.
The Canadian dollar improved 0.14 cents to 99.71 cents U.S.
Among stocks to watch this morning, Dollarama Inc. reported higher fourth-quarter profit, helped by strong holiday season sales, and also raised its quarterly dividend.
Timmins Gold Corp. reported its first-quarter production rose 17% and said it expects output to rise in the second quarter as well.
PetroBakken Energy Ltd reported higher average production for the first quarter and reiterated its capital budget for this year at $875 million.
Australia's competition regulator, ACCC, has halted a proposal by the grain handler Viterra Inc. to auction port capacity after similar auctions in other parts of the country have exposed problems allocating capacity despite a bumper harvest.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has confirmed the validity of WiLAN Inc. patent for V-chip technology, which enables objectionable television content to be blocked, the company said on Tuesday.
Economically speaking, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation said the pace of Canadian housing starts remained brisk in March, with construction of apartments and condos remaining strong.
The housing agency estimates there were 14,517 actual starts in March, which translates to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 215,600 units.
March's seasonally adjusted rate was up from 205,300 units in February
The TSX Venture Exchange regained 8.77 points to 1,439.87, while the Nasdaq Canada index strengthened 2.84 points to 396.16
All but two of the 14 Toronto subgroups were higher in the first hour. Global base metals picked up 2.1%, metals and mining spiked 1.7%, and industrials gained 1.1%.
The two laggards were gold, off 0.7%, and materials, sliding 0.1%.
In New York, stocks bounced back early Wednesday, one day after all three major indexes posted their worst losses of the year
The Dow Jones Industrials gained 107.90 points to begin the session at 12,823.60, after yesterday's loss of more than 213 points.
The S&P 500 hiked 13.23 points to 1,371.82, and the Nasdaq took on 32.66 points to 3,023.88.
Investors will be looking for reason to reverse the recent losses as they shift their focus to the upcoming batch of corporate results. Aluminum producer Alcoa rang in earnings season Tuesday with a surprise quarterly profit, and its shares surged Wednesday.
Shares of Nokia fell Wednesday after the company lowered its first-quarter outlook. Nokia cited "competitive industry dynamics," the macroeconomic environment, and gross margin declines in its smart devices unit, in explaining the revision.
Electronics retailer Best Buy will remain in the spotlight for a second day, following the company's acknowledgment late Tuesday that CEO Brian Dunn unexpectedly resigned amid an investigation into his "personal conduct."
Shares fell 5.9% Tuesday, though they were up Wednesday.
Google will report its quarterly results after the closing bell Thursday, while JPMorgan's will come Friday morning.
Investors took solace Wednesday morning from declining yields on Spanish and Italian bonds. The yield on the 10-year Spanish bond briefly topped 6% before retreating to 5.88%; Italian 10-year yields, meanwhile, fell to 5.51% from 5.69%.
It's been a rough stretch lately for U.S. stocks, with the major indexes down more than 3% this month. The Dow and the S&P 500 have declined for five consecutive trading sessions.
The selloff has been triggered by growing worries about Europe's fiscal health and global economic growth. A weak jobs report on Friday added to anxieties.
Economically speaking, prior to the opening bell, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that U.S. import prices advanced 1.3% in March, while exports rose 0.8%.
Later in the day, the Treasury will release its March budget, and the Federal Reserve will present the April edition of the Beige Book, which is a summary of outlooks from the 12 district banks across the country
The price on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury sagged, boosting yields to 2.04% from Tuesday's 1.99%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.
Oil for May delivery gained 78 cents to $101.80 U.S. a barrel.
Gold futures for April delivery fell $1.80 to $1,658.90 U.S. an ounce.