Stocks in Canada's largest centre advanced on Thursday, fueled by a rally in mining and energy stocks as commodity prices rose, but gains were tempered by a sharp fall in shares of Shopify Inc for a second straight day.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index stayed aloft 44.19 points to greet noon at 15,765.19
The Canadian dollar plummeted 0.43 cents to 79.72 cents U.S
The materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, rose for the fourth day in a row on bullish sentiment about demand, particularly from China, and a rally in the price of copper.
The group rallied with First Quantum Minerals Ltd jumping 5.2% to $15.88, and Teck Resources advancing 3.7% to $28.76. Ivanhoe Mines surged 7.1% to $4.58.
Copper prices advanced 2.4% to $6,677.50 U.S. a tonne.
The energy group climbed as oil prices heated up on signs that Saudi Arabia and Russia would limit production through next year.
Cenovus Energy was up 1.5% to $12.44.
TransCanada Corp edged up 0.2% to $61.02, despite news the company was cancelling certain pipeline projects. Goswami said the move was anticipated and that projects are weighted, with investors taking into account other factors in its valuation of the company.
Tempering some of the gains was Shopify's sharp retreat in heavy trading. Shares fell 3.5% to $124.41, extending Wednesday's losses after short-seller Citron Research said the stock was overvalued and criticized the Canadian e-commerce software provider's marketing practices.
On the economic slate, Statistics Canada reported that our merchandise trade deficit totaled $3.4 billion in August, widening from a $3.0-billion deficit in July. Exports decreased 1.0% while imports were unchanged.
The TSX Venture Exchange gained 1.62 points to 785.89
All but two of the 12 TSX subgroups were higher midday, with health-care more robust 1.5%, while materials and energy each leaped 0.8%
The lone two laggards were industrials, down 0.1%, and consumer staples, shying away 0.04%.
U.S. stocks hit record highs on Thursday as the S&P 500 tried to complete its longest winning streak in four years.
The Dow Jones Industrials added 77.61 points to Wednesday's record, to 22,739.25. Goldman Sachs and Apple contributed the most to the gains.
The S&P 500 advanced 9.59 points from Wednesday's all-time record to 2,547.33. The S&P 500 was also poised to complete its sixth straight record close, the longest such streak since 1997. Real-estate led advancers on the S&P 500.
The NASDAQ grew 26.78 points to Wednesday's record high to 6,547.33. The index was also on track to complete an eight-day winning streak.
Wall Street also looked ahead to the government's monthly employment report, which is set for release Friday morning.
Prices for the benchmark 10-year Treasury note lost ground, raising yields to 2.36% from Wednesday's 2.33%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.
Oil prices gained $1.04 a barrel to $51.02 U.S.
Gold prices took on 60 cents to $1,276.20 U.S. an ounce