The Toronto stock market appeared heading for a positive start to the trading day Tuesday as oil prices continued to shoot higher on improving demand prospects.
Higher commodities had earlier pushed the Canadian dollar past parity with the U.S. dollar as traders awaited the Bank of Canada’s scheduled announcement on interest rates. The central bank was widely expected to leave its key rate unchanged at one per cent.
The loonie rose as high as 100.11 cents US. It later traded at 99.91 cents US, up 0.21 of a cent from Monday’s close.
The loonie has not closed above parity with the greenback since Sept. 20.
U.S. futures were positive as the Dow Jones industrial futures slipped 14 points to 11,811, the Nasdaq futures were up two points to 2,376.8 and the S&P 500 futures added 0.2 of a point to 1,247.3.
Oil prices charged ahead for a third day as markets grow more optimistic that European leaders are set to deliver a comprehensive plan to deal with the region’s debt crisis on Wednesday.
Among the measures, the 17-nation eurozone is set to boost the powers of its bailout fund. German lawmakers said the fund’s lending capacity could reach more than C1 trillion.
The plan is also expected to lighten Greece’s debt load by having the country’s private bondholders agree to sharper losses. Meanwhile, ailing European banks will be asked to raise fresh capital to protect them against such losses.
The December crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange jumped $3.02 to US$94.29 a barrel.
Crude had surged almost US$4 a barrel Monday in the wake of data showing China’s manufacturing sector expanded during September, lowering fears that the country’s economy is in for a hard landing as it tries to bring down high inflation.
Bullion prices also advanced with the December gold contract up $8.10 to US$1,660.40 an ounce. Copper prices were unchanged after the Chinese manufacturing data helped send the metal 23 cents higher to US$3.45 a pound. China is the world’s biggest consumer of the metal, which is often used as a barometer of global economic health since it is used in so many applications, from wiring to infrastructure.
There were plenty of earnings reports for traders to take in.
Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. reported a decrease in third-quarter earnings as higher fuel prices and operating expenses offset its stronger revenues. Net earnings were $186.8 million or $1.10 per share, missing analyst estimates by a penny. The railway’s revenue came in at US$1.34 billion, which met expectations.
Online investment broker TD Ameritrade says its fiscal fourth-quarter profit shot up 44 per cent to US$163.7 million or 29 cents a share, missing estimates by two cents. Revenue came in at $703.5 million, which missed estimates of $713.6 million.
U.S. manufacturing conglomerate 3M lowered its earnings expectations for the year as slowing growth overseas continues to impact its business. 3M issued the outlook as it reported third-quarter earnings fell about two per cent to US$1.09 billion, or $1.52 per share, from $1.11 billion, or $1.53 per share, a year earlier. Revenue rose 10 per cent to $7.53 billion.
Asian shares ended mostly higher after a skittish day of trading. Japan’s Nikkei 225 index closed 0.9 per cent lower, South Korea’s Kospi lost 0.5 per cent while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 1.1 per cent. Benchmarks in mainland China, India, Taiwan, Singapore, and New Zealand also advanced.
European bourses were mixed with London’s FTSE 100 up 0.04 per cent, Frankfurt’s DAX rose 1.36 per cent and the Paris CAC 40 dipped 0.67 per cent.