Stocks in Canada's largest centre remained above water in morning trade on Monday, with gains for its heavyweight energy sector offsetting losses among gold miners.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index held onto gains of 6.15 points to greet noon at 15,179.18
The Canadian dollar plummeted 0.5 cents to 81.73 cents U.S.
The most influential movers on the index also included Potash Corp of Saskatchewan, which gained 3.6% to $23.61, and Agrium Inc, which was up 3.3% to $132.34.
Last week, Canada's competition watchdog said it would not challenge a proposed merger between the two companies.
The energy group climbed even as oil prices slipped from recent multi-month highs, with Encana Corp up 2.3% at $13.00.
The materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners as well as fertilizer companies, squeezed higher, as gold issues such as Kinross Gold Corp fell 1.9% to $5.77 after saying it would spend more than $1 billion to expand two gold mines.
Barrick Gold Corp fell 1.2% to $20.81, and Goldcorp lost 1.2% to $15.95 as prices for bullion hit a two-and-a-half-week low ahead of a two-day U.S. Federal Reserve meeting and as global equities surged.
Methanex Corp rose 3.6% to $63.80 after TD raised its price target on the stock.
IGM Financial advanced 3.6% to $42.26 after BMO raised its rating to outperform from market perform and increased its target price.
A BMO cut on CI Financial Corp to market perform from outperform helped push it down 2.9% to $26.64.
On the economic slate, Statistics Canada reported that offshore investors purchased $24 billion in Canadian securities in July, led by record acquisitions of Canadian bonds. At the same time, Canadian investors reduced their holdings of foreign securities by $1.8 billion, following strong acquisitions in June.
The TSX Venture Exchange demurred 2.91 points early Monday to 776.75
The 12 TSX subgroups were evenly split by midday, as information technology progressed 0.5%, while consumer discretionary and industrial stocks each climbed 0.4%.
The half-dozen laggards were weighed worst by gold, stumbling 1.6%, health-care dipping 0.6%, and real-estate, off 0.3%.
U.S. stocks traded higher on Monday after a big deal in the defense sector was struck. Investors also looked ahead to a key Federal Reserve meeting.
The Dow Jones Industrials gained 82.53 points to 22,350.87, a new record. Caterpillar and Boeing contributed the most to the gains.
The S&P 500 collected 6.39 points above Friday's all-time record to 2,506.62, as financials and materials led advancers.
The NASDAQ gathered 28.51 points to 6,476.95, also peaking.
Shares of Orbital ATK rose about 20% in midmorning trade after announcing it is being bought by defense giant Northrop Grumman. In a release, the two companies said Northrop would pay $9.2 billion in cash and debt. Orbital shareholders will receive all-cash consideration of $134.50 a share, a 22% premium to its Friday close of $110.04.
The deal comes two weeks after United Technologies announced its acquisition of Rockwell Collins. On Sept. 4, United Tech said it would pay $30 billion for Rockwell.
Investors were also preparing themselves for the start of the Fed's meeting this week. Market participants are largely expecting interest rates to remain unchanged. But Wall Street is expecting the Fed to announce the unwinding of its $4.5-trillion balance sheet. The Fed accrued its massive portfolio during the Financial Crisis.
Prices for the benchmark 10-year Treasury note were lower, raising yields to 2.23% from Friday's 2.2%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.
Oil prices demurred 40 cents to $49.49
Gold prices backpedaled $14.30 to $1,310.90 U.S. an ounce