TSX up 10 Points ayt Midday as Commodities Help Offset Losses

The TSX is up about 10 points at midday as strong gains in energy (+1.3%) and miners (+2.3%) offset losses in utilities (-1%) and healthcare (-0.95%).

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The TSX closed about 25 points higher on Wednesday.

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Oil prices rose early on Thursday as hopes for rising demand offset a day-prior drop that came on an unexpected jump in US inventories and the Federal Reserve’s promise to continue hiking US interest rates. Gold prices, which fell sharply even as the dollar and bond yields weakened after bearish signals from the Federal Reserve that interest rates will continue rising this year, are now slightly higher at midday.

Natural-gas futures rose early on Thursday ahead of fresh storage data from the Energy Information Administration.

Canadian housing starts plunged to 202.5k annualized units in May and the fundamentals are strong in the United States too

TD Economics said even with today’s decline, housing starts are tracking 4% higher than their first quarter average thanks to an April “pop”. TD said this, alongside what will likely be a “super-sized” gain in home sales. should generate a positive second quarter growth print for residential investment, supporting the overall economy.

“Once again the US economy is exceeding pessimistic forecasts,” said Royce Mendes at Desjardins, noting retail sales there topped expectations with a 0.3% increase in May, sailing past the consensus projection for a contraction of 0.2%.

Over at CIBC, Katherine Judge said while the US data represents a cooling in sales, a solid start to the quarter still leaves the latter group up by 1.1% annualized on a three-month average basis.

And BMO Economics after looking at U.S. Retail Sales (May) and Regional PMIs (June) and Jobless Claims (June 10th week) said a “grab-bag” of data this morning suggests the U.S. economy is “holding up relatively well through the second quarter despite some softness.”

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