TORONTO - Investors made a cautious return to the Toronto stock market Thursday after two volatile days that saw Canada's main index lose more than 345 points.
The S&P/TSX composite index closed up 64.93 points at 15,088.82, making up at least some of the triple-digit losses of the last two days. The loonie was down 0.55 of a U.S. cent at 82.51 cents.
The TSX lost 150.05 points Wednesday, led by energy stocks, as investors weighed the potential impacts of the NDP's majority win in the Alberta election. The party had campaigned on promises to raise corporate tax rates and review the province's royalty regime.
Investors said they were concerned that Canada's oilpatch, already struggling with low crude prices, could be forced to bear a higher tax burden.
Luciano Orengo, managing director and portfolio manager at Manulife Asset Management, says the election results are still weighing on the Toronto stock market.
"I don't think it's a one-day effect," Orengo said. "The brunt of it took place yesterday. There's a bit of a spillover today. But then, added to that, you are getting some pressure because of the lower commodity prices."
The June crude oil contract was down $1.99 at US$58.94 a barrel as traders worried about how much oil Iran could produce if sanctions are lifted. The Iranian oil minister said the that if a deal is struck over its nuclear program, Iran could boost oil production to four million barrels a day in under a year, adding to the glut of global supply that has left crude prices under pressure.
The June gold contract fell $8.10 to US$1,182.20 an ounce.
Meanwhile, better-than-expected weekly jobless claims data, which showed that layoffs remain at 15-year lows, helped New York markets also make up some of the ground lost over the previous two sessions.
At least some of the losses south of the border Wednesday were linked to remarks by Federal Reserve Board chairwoman Janet Yellen, who said U.S. valuations were generally "quite high."
The Dow Jones industrial average gained 82.08 points to close at 17,924.06, the Nasdaq advanced 25.90 to 4,945.54 and the S&P 500 was ahead 7.85 points at 2,088.00.
Traders are looking forward to Friday's non-farm payrolls report, which could help the U.S. Federal Reserve determine when to start hiking interest rates.
Shares of Linamar Corp. (TSX:LNR) surged more than 13 per cent to close at $83.21, after the Canadian auto parts maker reported sales and earnings hit record levels in the first quarter.
Magna International (TSX:MG) was up nearly five per cent to $66.78. The auto parts manufacturer reported quarterly results that surpassed analyst estimates, helped by strong demand from south of the border.
And shares of Bombardier (TSX:BBD.B) surged 6.72 per cent to close at $2.54 after the company announced plans to set up its rail division as a separate, publicly traded company. Bombardier will retain majority ownership.
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