The S&P/TSX composite index was ahead 62.43 points to 15,534.32.
The tech sector was a major driver, up 1.55 per cent with BlackBerry (TSX:BB) ahead 68 cents or 6.06 per cent to $11.75 after the smartphone company said that it had acquired Movirtu, which has developed a system that allows multiple numbers to be active on a single smartphone. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
The Canadian dollar tumbled 0.93 of a cent to a five-month low of 90.52 cents US as weaker than expected Chinese inflation data raised more concerns about a slowing of the world's second-biggest economy and pressured commodity-based currencies such as the loonie.
U.S. markets were mixed with the Dow Jones industrials down 19.71 points to 17,049 while the Nasdaq gained 5.29 points to 4,591.81 and the S&P 500 index edged up 1.76 points to 1,997.45.
Meanwhile, quarterly net earnings from Empire Co. (TSX:EMP.A), parent of grocer Sobeys, were $123.1 million or $1.33 per share, up from $65 million or 95 cents a share a year earlier, before its acquisition of Safeway Canada.
Adjusted net earnings were $131.7 million or $1.43 per share, well ahead of analyst expectations of $1.35 per share and its shares gained $1.14 to $75.56.
Lululemon (Nasdaq:LULU) reported a lower second-quarter profit of $48.7 million or 33 cents per share, compared with $56.4 million, or 39 cents per share a year ago. Revenue for the quarter was up 13 per cent to $390.7 million. Its stock jumped 14 per cent to US$43.73 in New York as the Vancouver-based company also raised its full-year adjusted earnings guidance after having lowered it in June.
"It does fit a trend that we’re seeing, a very nice rebound in earnings among Canadian companies," said Stephen Lingard, managing director, Franklin Templeton Solutions.
"It fits the theme that many in Canada, including analysts, were too negative on the market and really this is behind why Canada is the second-best performer in developed markets so far this year," Lingard said.
The TSX had been held back by energy stocks as a report forecast lower global demand for crude. The International Energy Agency said that it expected global oil demand to grow by 900,000 barrels a day in 2014, a decrease of 65,000 barrels a day compared with last month’s forecast and down by 300,000 barrels a day since July. The IEA blames economic weakness in Europe and China.
But the group ended the session ahead 0.16 per cent as the October crude contract in New York erased early gains to rise $1.16 to US$92.83 a barrel after closing at an eight month low Wednesday.
The battered base metals sector, down over four per cent in the last month, was up 0.5 per cent even as weak inflation data from China pushed December copper down two cents to US$3.09 a pound.
The gold sector was ahead about 1.1 per cent as December gold faded $5.40 to US$1,239.90 an ounce.